Tougher regulations expected for indoor play areas
A Valley mom's exposé on filth put playgrounds at fast-food restaurants across the nation under the microscope. By Jennifer Thomas
PHOENIX -- After nearly a year of collecting samples and data from some of our country’s dirtiest play areas, one Valley mother’s fight to get play areas in fast-food restaurants cleaned up is paying off.
Erin Carr-Jordan has visited and tested more than 70 indoor playgrounds nationwide, 20 of those here in Arizona, finding germs, vomit and feces.
Carr-Jordan presented her findings to the Board of Health on Tuesday. In a unanimous decision, the board voted to change Arizona’s health code to include children’s indoor play areas in restaurants.
"It makes my heart happy," Carr-Jordan said. "It really is the right thing to do and it’s about knowing there is a problem and being in a unique position to do something about it."
"We're excited because this represents an opportunity for us to move this ordinance forward in cooperation with the restaurants," said Maricopa County Supervisor Fulton Brock.
By the middle of this year the Board of Health expects to have enhanced restaurant ordinances that will grade restaurants with play areas.
"I'm very excited about the progress and everyone has been reasonably cooperative thus far,” Carr-Jordan said.
Next week Carr-Jordan is headed to Washington, D.C., to meet with the health committee, hoping this problem grabs the attention of lawmakers in our nation’s capital.
"It will be a mission," she said. "I've got 48 states to go."