How clean are indoor playgrounds?

The Northwest Herald in Illinois notes that indoor playgrounds are not regulated or inspected by the county or state health departments.

Debra Quackenbush, McHenry County Department of Health spokeswoman, was cited as saying that the department did not regulate indoor playgrounds.

State Rep. Jack Franks, D-Woodstock, was cited as saying the lack of regulations for play equipment could explain why his sons contracted pink eye several times after visiting indoor playgrounds when they were younger, and that self-regulation for restaurant operators, without the threat of punishment, did not work.

Franks was further cited as saying that the county health department should be responsible for making sure that indoor playgrounds were sanitary, adding, "The health department inspects the cleanliness of the restaurant. How much harder would it be to also make sure that the play area is clean?"

Managers of local Burger King and McDonald’s restaurants were cited as telling the Northwest Herald that an outside company cleaned the inside of their play tubes once a month, adding that employees sanitized the play area throughout the day and cleaned it at the end of the workday.