Inflatable Pool Slides have grown in popularity in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and across the country in the past several years. Just like inflatable "bounce houses", inflatable pool slides are a popular party prop. More frequently, however, Pittsburgh residents are purchasing inflatable pool slides for private use on a regular basis. Recently, at least a couple of serious injuries have occurred from consumers using these inflatable slides.
These slides inflate and then are positioned at the edge of in-ground swimming pools. Users can then climb up to the top of the slide and, with water from the pool, slide down and go flying into the pool. There are a couple of critical design issues with these slides however. First, they position the user fairly high off the ground. Second, the slide is wide allowing for users to lose their positioning on the ride down. Lastly, (at least as far as I can see) the slides are reported to lose air such that users can come into forceful contact with the ground at the end oft he slide, just before hitting the pool. This is obviously a recipe for disaster that, unfortunately, has already been born out.
As a result, Wal-Mart and Toys R Us have announced a recall of about 21,000 inflatable Banzai in-ground pool water slides. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that during use, the slide can deflate, allowing the user to hit the ground underneath the slide and become injured. The CPSC has also indicated that the slide is also unstable and can topple over in both still and windy conditions and carries inadequate warnings and instructions.
The CPSC is aware that a 29-year-old Colorado mother died in Andover, Mass. after fracturing her neck going down a Banzai in-ground pool water slide which had been placed over the concrete edge of a pool. The victim hit her head at the bottom of the slide because it had partially deflated. It can be assumed that this woman either went down the slide head first or became repositioned on her way down. Instead of sliding into the pool she, instead, was essentially pile drived into the concrete edge of the pool.
The CPSC and the retailers are aware of two other injuries which have occurred in a similar manner, including a 24-year-old man from Springfield, Mo. who became a quadriplegic and a woman from Allentown, Pa. who fractured her neck.
The recall involves Banzai in-ground pool water slides designed for use with in-ground pools. The vinyl slides have a blue base, yellow sliding mat and an arch going over the top of the slide. By connecting a hose to the top of the slide, water can be sprayed on its downward slope. The words 'Banzai Splash' are printed in a circular blue, orange and white logo, shaped like a wave on either side of the slide. A picture of the slide is below for reference.
The recalled slides, which were manufactured in China by Manley Toys, Ltd, were sold at Walmart and Toys R Us nationwide from January 2005 through June 2009 for about $250. The recalled slides have the barcode number 2675315734 and model number 15734. Both the barcode and model number appear on the original packaging but are not on the actual slide.
The CPSC is urging consumers to immediately stop using the product and return it to the nearest Walmart or Toys R Us for a full refund. Consumers can also cut the two safety warning notices out of the slide and just return that portion. For additional information from Walmart, call (800) 925-6278 between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's website at www.walmartstores.com. For additional information from Toys R Us, call (800) 869-7787 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. ET Monday through Saturday and between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday, or visit the firm's website at www.toysrus.com
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