Maricopa County adopts health guidelines for indoor playgrounds - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Maricopa County adopts health guidelines for indoor playgrounds

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PHOENIX -

Dirty, germ infested, and unsanitary -- the conditions at some fast food restaurant indoor playgrounds are enough to make you cringe.

There are a lot of disgusting things lurking on those plastic tubes and slides.

Thursday, Maricopa County became the first in the nation to crack down on the unhealthy situation. Some strict new rules are going into effect.

After she found things like fecal matter, fungus, mold, even gonorrhea, one valley mom has made this her mission.

For the past year-a-half she's been pushing for new regulations and Maricopa County is now the first in the country to get on board.

Armed with her own videos of dirty indoor playgrounds and pictures that would make anyone's stomach turn, Erin Carr-Jordan convinced the County Board of Supervisors to unanimously approve the new rules.

"It is our hope that by getting this regulation in place that anytime you walk into one of these your kids will be safe," says Carr-Jordan.

From now on, posted signs will tell kids and parents they can't eat on the play equipment and much more.

"They are required to have sanitizing stations or wash stations in the immediate vicinity. Clean once per day, no less than that but as necessary, and they are required to adhere to the manufacturers guidelines for all of that."

Inspectors from the county health department will also have the authority to shut down dirty playgrounds. Carr-Jordan worked even got the Restaurant Association on board.

"Once they realized that it really wasn't a ding for them financially it was quite easy to do. The nominal expense that they spend gets them a reward in the short and long run."

Carr-Jordan is now taking her message to other states, even Washington DC, and she's got the evidence to prove her point.

"This becomes a true template for what the county and what the state can do to keep kids safe," she says. "The data is there that shows it should be a national response. For Maricopa County to take the lead, I am so honored."

A bill in California was vetoed last week by Governor Jerry Brown, but Carr-Jordan says she is not giving up.

Online: www.kidsplaysafe.net 

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