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Japan's children play safe in risk-free playground

Japan's children play safe in risk-free playground.Parents all over the world often bring their children to a nearby playground or local park whereby the whole family can spend some quality time together. In Japan, however, some special playgrounds offer something even more to worried parents: an extra piece of mind. These playgrounds leave nothing to chance by offering services that are not found in common playgrounds. A general introduction for one of these playgrounds is as follows:
Fantasy Resort is one of at least a dozen playgrounds around Japan that leave nothing to chance, pitching their services to the growing number of parents who constantly fret about the threats posed to their tiny offspring by disease, accidents and other people.

The playground is a world away from ordinary playgrounds, with their concrete surfaces, rusty swings and sandpits that often conceal unwelcome deposits by dogs. First-time visitors must provide proof of identification before they enter the indoor, air-conditioned premises, located above a large supermarket in Ebina, west of Tokyo.

Shoes must be removed at the door - they carry germs - and the wheels of baby-buggies are sprayed with an antibacterial solution before being parked, in neat rows, just inside the entrance.

Inside, parents who cannot keep track of their child's every move can rest assured that they are being watched over by about 20 staff dressed in bright yellow overalls and more than a dozen security cameras mounted on the ceiling.

Although pets are banned from the playground, its large sandpit contains sterilised sand which is sifted daily to remove any potentially harmful objects. Most of the bigger toys are inflatable to reduce the risk of injury.

The playground's obsession with safety has grabbed the attention of parents who believe the days when they could let their children play outside unattended have gone for good.


One would definitely want to leave his or her child to play freely in such a safe environment, especially when headlines about recent gruesome crimes - one girl's body was stuffed in a box, another was stabbed a dozen times in the chest - give the impression that Japan is in the grip of a crime wave directed at children, although statistics suggest otherwise.

Link: Guardian
Image: Rtoann
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