THE City of Greater Bendigo will investigate if anything can be done to improve the time it takes for non-slip tiles at its new, $32.2 million pool complex to be worn in following reports of children sustaining cuts and grazes.
It comes as community members call for action to ensure people can enjoy the Gurri Wanyarra Wellbeing Centre, in Kangaroo Flat, without fear of injury.
The centre had received three formal complaints about abrasions related to the tiling at the time of writing.
“However, a number of patrons have also provided feedback to the centre through various social media channels and also in person,” Vicky Mason, the city’s acting chief executive, said.
The tiles in question are mostly found in the areas of the complex designed for children, including the beach-entry children’s pool and the learn to swim pool.
“Those affected have mostly been children, as their already soft skin becomes softer when in the water for long periods of time,” Ms Mason said.
She said the tiles met the Australian Building Code’s non-slip standard.
“We are aware of other new centres experiencing similar issues, as it is a requirement to use this type of product. However, they have reported that after a period of time the tiles have become less abrasive,” Ms Mason said.
“The city will investigate if anything can be done to improve the time it takes for the tiles to be worn in, while remaining non-slip.”
She said the centre continued to be ‘very busy’, despite the reported injuries.
Visitor numbers average between 1600 – 2000 people per day, depending on the weather.
Kangaroo Flat mother Krystal Harmer said her seven-year-old son was no longer among those who wanted to visit the pool, having sustained burn-like sores on the inside of an arm and on his lower back while playing there last weekend.
She said she reported the injuries to a lifeguard on duty.
“She sort of said to me it’s like that at the moment because it’s new and it would wear down over time,” Miss Harmer said.
“I just sort of thought that’s not good enough. It shouldn’t take for the kids to play on it and cut themselves to wear it down.”
Another Bendigo mum, who requested to remain anonymous, said her six-year-old daughter had been injured at the Gurri Wanyarra Wellbeing Centre at least twice.
The first time, she cut her toe. She sustained grazing and bruising after landing on the tiles after getting off a slide during a later visit.
Much like Ms Harmer, the mother raised it with a lifeguard and was unsatisfied by the response.
She, too, called for action.
“You can’t have kids going into the pool and cutting themselves,” the mum said.
She recommended the council have a look at the tiles and the grouting.
“A thorough inspection of all pool tiles was completed multiple times prior to he pools being filled with water,” Ms Mason said.
The Gurri Wanyarra Wellbeing Centre opened on October 26.
Ms Mason said the council was not considering closing the pool as a result of the complaints.
“Centre staff and lifeguards continue to assist anyone who is grazed by the tiles and remind all patrons, particularly children, to move carefully when in the water and not run into the pool,” she said.
She said visitors were welcome to wear aqua or sand shoes at the centre.
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