Kid slides through poop at McDonald’s play area

About once a month we take our kids to a local fast food place that my friend owns and let them run wild in the play area. They go in and out and part of my struggle as a parent is getting them to go wash their hands before they dive into their lunch.

A while ago I asked my friend about cleaning and sanitizing the playground and what happens if some kid pukes or poops in there. He told me that his routine staff works on the room every night using a bunch of cleaning and sanitizing compounds Not risk elimination, but definitely reduction. He also said that the poop/puke events are infrequent, but they do happen and his staff are trained on how to contain, look for spray/smear and what special compounds to use (and their concentrations).

We’ve never had one of our kids come screaming out with a bunch of puke or poop on their hands. Unlike Justina Whitmore, who according to Boston 25, had to deal with her kid being covered in human waste after playing at a McDonalds.

A New Hampshire woman is demanding an apology and is raising questions about the cleanliness of a Manchester McDonald’s after her son became covered in human waste in the play pen.
 
Justina Whitmore said that when she let her son play, she knew he may be covered in germs.
 
She said she never imagined her 5-year-old would emerge from the yellow slide covered in another child’s waste.
 
“I was still eating and the next thing I knew he came out and just stated there was poop all inside the slide,” she said. “When he came out, he was covered in poop.”
 
Gabriel said he was playing tag with another child, who apparently had a soiled diaper.
 
But it’s what happened after the incident that the mother finds even more outrageous.
 
There was no soap in the bathroom, and when she asked employees for help she said they just laughed at her.
 
“I went over to the counter and said, ‘Are you going to give me any paper towels or anything to help clean my son off,’ and they were just laughing and arguing about who should clean it up.”
 
For 10 minutes Justina said she was pleading for assistance only to have employees ignore her and take smoke breaks, or act like a child.

Playgrounds, particularly outdoor ones (with sand or surface bark) have been linked to outbreaks in the past. Pathogens can stick around and persist in soil (especially something hardy like Salmonella) and on fomites like slides (norovirus).

Smearing feces on toddler slide introduced crypto into pool in Wales; 106 sickened in 2009

An Aug. 2009 outbreak of cryptosporidium amongst children and adults who swam at the Merthyr Tydfil centre in Wales was caused by the smearing of feces on the toddler slide on Aug. 22, 2009.

Officials said it was important people with diarrhea did not go swimming.

A total of 45 cases of the illness were confirmed through laboratory testing and the pool was closed for three weeks following the confirmation of the outbreak. Over 100 people were estimated to have been sickened during the outbreak.

The report (which is available through the BBC story) also said,

"Gaps and weaknesses in policies and operational procedures and non-adherence to procedures in relation to incidents such as fecal accidents are also likely to have contributed to spreading cryptosporidium contamination widely at the time."