or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › Important info for those with kids. Health and Safety issue.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Important info for those with kids. Health and Safety issue.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Some of you might not be parents, but you may have nieces, nephews,
or grandchildren that this will pertain to. As I read the following, my
heart sank. I urge each and every one of you to pass this on to as many
people as you can. I cannot stress how important this is!
This is very disturbing news. In addition to the following true
story, I will also add that my own sons were playing in the ball pit at
Discovery Zone one day.

One son lost his watch, and was very upset. We dug and dug in those
balls, trying to find the watch. Instead, we found vomit, food, feces, and
other stuff I do not want to discuss. I went to the manager and raised heck.

I came to find out, the ball pit is only cleaned out once a month. I have
doubts that it is even done that often. My kids will never play in another
ball pit.

Now read this:

"Hi. My name is Lauren Archer. My son Kevin and I lived in Sugarland,

Texas. On October 2, 1994, I took my only son to McDonald's for his 3rd

birthday. After he finished lunch, I allowed him to play in the ball

pit. When he started crying later, I asked him what was wrong. He pointed to

his back and said, 'Mommy, it hurts.' I looked, but couldn't find anything

wrong with him at the time. I bathed him when we got home, and it was at that

point that I found a welt on his left buttock. Upon investigation, it

seemed as if there was splinter under the welt. I made a doctor appointment

for the next day to have it removed. In the meantime, he started vomiting and

shaking. Then his eyes rolled back in his head. We immediately went to

the emergency room! My only son died later that night. It turned out that

the welt on his buttock was the tip of a hypodermic needle that had broken

off in his skin. The autopsy revealed that Kevin had died from a heroine

overdose. The next day, the police removed the balls from the ball pit

and found rotten food, half-eaten candy, diapers, feces, the stench of

urine, and several hypodermic needles."

(If you question the validity of this story, you can find the

article on Kevin Archer in the October 10, 1994 issue of the Houston Chronicle.)

Please forward this! to all loving mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles,

and grandparents. Note: Some children have also gotten lice from ball pits.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the

moments that take our breath away
post #2 of 7
Ady, while I am certainly not going to dispute the sanitary conditions of those ball pits, nor of your experience with them, I have to report that the Kevin Archer story is a hoax.

Being the skeptic that I am, I went to the Houston Chronicle website and tried to search for Kevin Archer in the Archives. Well, you have to register to get information, but at the top it had a box that said "Looking for information on the Kevin Archer Hoax?" So here is what the Houston Chronicle has to say:

Hoax writers' technique

by David Galloway in his On The Edge column

A friend named Dianna sent me the following on Saturday:

I am trying to verify the authenticity of a letter I received via e-mail this morning. I am very careful not to pass on things that are not truth and which I personally have not checked out through other sources. Hoax sites on the Internet could not help me with this one, and since it was stated that I could check this out in the Oct. 10, 1994, article in the Houston Chronicle on Kevin Archer, I thought maybe you could help me. I have sent an e-mail communique to the main e-mail for the Chronicle but then saw your name on that site as well. This article supposedly states that Kevin died as a result of a needle injection of heroin while playing in a ball pit at a McDonald's and the investigation proved that there were needles, some empty and some full, feces, food, knives and a stench of urine. I question this article, since it is asking people to pass the warning to other parents and the article supposedly is so old. Could you help me validate or deny the authenticity of these accusations before I address the person who sent it to me.

Yes, I can help with this one.

A search of the Chronicle archives shows no article mentioning Kevin Archer on Oct. 10, 1994, or any other date. And there's only one article in the Chronicle archives that mentions "McDonald," "heroin" and "needle" in the same article, and that was about AIDS and drug users, and it quoted a doctor whose last name was McDonald.

Also, since I was in the news business in Southeast Texas in October 1994, I feel certain that I would have heard about that story if it were true.

That's one of the favorite techniques of hoax writers. They attach the name of a real publication and a specific date (far enough in the past to make verification difficult), and it makes their garbage seem much more authentic.

But some smart people like Dianna know that just because a warning on the Internet cites a reputable source, that doesn't mean the reputable source ever reported what's being claimed.

No, the Chronicle never reported on needles in the McDonald's playground. It didn't happen.

And now the rest of you know.

Thanks, Dianna.

David Galloway is a former content supervisor and columnist for HoustonChronicle.com. We welcome comments directed to hci@chron.com.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you for clearing that up Heidi - Do you think I should remove this thread to avoid alarming people?
post #4 of 7
Well, if you or someone you know personally found that disgusting stuff in there, it is still worth the warning, IMO. Just because some kid did not die in it, doesn't mean it's a good place to be.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
I personal have not had that nast of an experience, but I know of people who found urine and feces in there!
post #6 of 7

I was also thinking that I'm sure many people have gotten that email, so clearing up a hoax isn't a bad thing either.
post #7 of 7
That email has been circulating for years and thankfully is just a hoax.

Although, I am sure the ball pits are not 100% hygienic, I just make sure my kids wash their hands immediately, and obviously don't touch their faces while in there.

I try hard not to be over protective, they can be exposed to just as much "germs" at any playground or other place they may play.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: The Cat Lounge
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › Important info for those with kids. Health and Safety issue.