Tag Archives: Children

Foam pit can be a hazard too at trampoline park!

Came across this news on Facebook today about a Chinese woman who got injured at a trampoline park in China. The video captured showed the woman did a somersault into a foam pit. 

http://www.chinapress.com.my/?p=928372

I can’t tell what went wrong, perhaps she should have landed in a seated position. With a foam pit as a cushion I would have thought it shouldn’t be much of a problem even if one lands too awkwardly. But the woman broke the T12 vertebra as a result.

Then I googled to see if I can find more information about this news and found the following reported in The Guardian.

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/14/trampoline-park-injuries-trigger-hundreds-of-ambulance-call-outs

Another woman did a jump into the foam pit and fractured her T12 vertebra. Different kind of jump, but both into the foam pit and got injured. So looks like it can be hazardous too even when you jump into something that is supposed to provide you protection. I wonder if the park owners could have done more to minimise such injuries, or that equipment suppliers should move on to use other material as cushion or something. Because the foam pit does give people the false impression that it is safe to do any silly jumps into it. And there lies the main problem I believe.

It’s official, MAPS to open on 26th June 2017!

So it’s official this time, that Movie Animation Park Studios (MAPS) is opening on the 26th June 2017. Despite all the rumours that they can’t make its opening in June, we now have an official date to look forward to, finally. For those who have bought an annual pass, you are advised to get your photo ID done on your first visit to MAPS. The annual pass will be valid from their opening date (not on the date of your first visit, remember!) for a year. Those who have bought a day pass during their promotional period will have their day pass valid for three months from their opening date. If you haven’t bought any yet, you can purchase a day pass from their ticketing website at https://ticketing.mapsperak.com/.

Hope this theme park is going to bring many many tourists to Ipoh, projected to be one million a year! And that it will help boost the economic activities in Ipoh, which has been dire in my opinion for the past 2 years!

Master Jump and BlueBlue Playland

Following  up on my previous post about a new Trampoline Park opening in Ipoh, here are further details I found on Facebook about the new facility:

Location – The Trampoline Park is located in the MBC building (see image below)  in Gunung Rapat. It is behind OldTown cafe, which is facing the main road Jalan Gopeng (or Jalan Raja Dr Nazrin Shah as it is known as nowadays).

 The building itself looks mostly empty, with many vacant lots. The Trampoline Park is located on the third floor, together with badminton courts and a children soft play called BlueBlue Playland.

The Trampoline Park, called Master Jump, looks like this, with basketball rings, soft foam pool, and rock climbing wall to add variety to it. Nothing extraordinary, looks like one my friend showed me in KL, with no air-conditioning too. They however have a massive ceiling fan, like those you can find in some food courts in Ipoh.

The pricing for playing in Master Jump is as follows. Note that the rate is per hour. Can’t tell if it is expensive or not, but the socks certainly are, at RM10 a pair! And all customers have to fill in “Declaration & Waiver Form”, which essentially means that you will bear all the risk of playing in the Trampoline Park. Like I said in my previous post, you better make sure you know what you are signing your kids up for and that your kids are not going to do anything silly there without supervision. 

Updated 3/5/2017: Don’t be fooled into thinking that it is safe to do any silly jump into the foam pit too!

Updated 18/7/2017: Horrible horrible account of what happened to a boy at a trampoline park on his birthday and the trauma the family have to go through.

And check with the staff there to see if they know what to do in case there is an emergency, whether it be to do with first aid or evacuation procedure.

Located next to Master Jump is BlueBlue Playland, which should be more suitable for my daughter. It has a big climb frame like one in Cheeky Tots (probably bigger, I couldn’t tell because I haven’t been there before) too, but with an ocean theme. One thing that concerns me is this soft play does not seem to be air-conditioned (no air cond ducts and all). Will it be enough with just another massive ceiling fan to cool the place down? It is located on the third floor, directly under the roof, and I think it will be like an oven on a hot afternoon! Fan assisted oven LOL I really haven’t been to a soft play that is not air-conditioned in Malaysia. I would really like to know what parents think about such soft play. The children will be sweaty and smelly very quickly. And when there are tens of such sweaty and smelly children running amok in the playland, I’m not sure if I want to be around for long even if I manage to keep myself cool in the fan assisted oven 🙂

Moving on to the pricing. I’m surprised that they are going to charge newborn for going into the softplay too. I have a son a few months old. He can’t sit upright yet, can’t really crawl, only just started to flex his fingers to grip things. I’ll be very interested to see if they provide any baby toys suitable for newborn to justify charging such fee! Apart from that, they are also charging quite a lot more than other soft plays in Ipoh, notably Cheeky Tots. This makes BlueBlue Playland the most expensive softplay now. At RM28, it is RM6.50 more expensive than Cheeky Tots on weekends, and RM12 dearer on a Friday! As for accompanying adults, additional adult is charged at RM10 during peak days! This is insane. It invariably discourages parents with one child from spending time together as a family unit in BlueBlue Playland. And the socks! RM7 for a pair of socks! Utter despair. On the bright side, they allow OKU (with OKU pass) to play for free in their playland from Monday to Thursday. Even on peak day, it is only RM5 for the OKU. 

I was initially rather excited by the new soft play in town, but was put off by the pricing, not to mention the oven bit. What do you think?

Trampoline park in Ipoh

I first get to know about trampoline park (I didn’t even know at the time it is called a trampoline park!) when my friend showed me photos of such premise, possibly located in KL. It looks fun, kids can bounce up and down, and side way too! A fun way for kids to do some exercise. I wasn’t interested at the time, as my daughter was still very young, about 5 years old perhaps.

Heard that there is going to be a trampoline park in Ipoh soon too! So I try to check it out and see where it is. No information available as far as I know, but get to read up more about trampoline park though. It is growing in popularity in the US, with an estimated five to six parks opening every month. But the injuries as a result from playing on trampolines shot up too! 

More evidence trampoline parks are dangerous places for kid

A few important points to note are:

  1. Parents should not be complacent and think that the staff working in the park will supervise or ensure your child’s safety while playing there.
  2. Parents need to be aware of the risks of playing in the park, but the staff also need to be trained to know some first aid knowledge, with procedures on how to handle the situation in case there is an emergency. Cases of broken arm, broken back, and even broken neck have occurred before in these parks!
  3. Discourage your child from doing silly stunts like somersault and all without proper supervision.
  4. Don’t let your child jump together with others on the same trampoline.
  5. Keep your child away from bigger kids.

Does make me think twice before I decide to bring my daughter to a trampoline park, if there is one in Ipoh..

Updated 2/2/2017:

There is indeed a new trampoline park in Ipoh, it is called Master Jump. See my next post on this new trampoline park.

How much sleep do kids need?

My daughter is in her primary 1 this year. We put her to bed around 8pm. But she needs to wake up by 6:15am the latest, to allow her time to get changed, eat breakfast and brush teeth. Then she needs to be at school by 7:15am. We live quite close by to the school, so we can afford to leave the house at around 7am. Her school finishes at 2:30pm and she can arrive home before 3pm. This means that she only has at most 5 hours at home to do whatever she needs to get done. Lunch and supper will take between 1-2 hours, considering how quickly my daughter eats. Then she still has much home work to do, given by her school teachers! Now I understand why children has no time to do anything during school days! But having said that, some parents, in fact many in Malaysia, still manage to squeeze in tuition for their beloved. This almost certainly eats into their sleep time. According to the NHS, primary school children between the age of 7-12 years old need between 10 hours 30 minutes to 9 hours 15 minutes of sleep a day. So my daughter is actually still 15 minutes short of the recommended number of hours of sleep! Little wonders why children easily fall sick here. Most children are sleep deprived, and they lack physical exercise, as home work and tuition is given higher priority instead. It is a pity that children need to live this kind of life nowadays when they should be given more time to goof around at this young age.. 

Restaurants and cafes where kids can play

Recently came across this blog post that recommends restaurants and cafes where kids can play in Klang Valley region. These are fairly decent recommendations. As I have posted before, parents with children do yearn for places where they can sit down and relax while their children can keep themselves busy. However I couldn’t help but to find that these restaurants/cafes, when compared to Cheeky Tots in Ipoh, where I now live, rather underwhelming. By and large they source their toys from IKEA. Some hardly much space or toys for the kids to keep themselves occupied for long.

This baby/toddler play area in itself is already bigger than those you can find in any of the cafes above.

Baby toddler play area

And you have these playhouses,

Play houses

castle,

Castle

reading corner, with some toys too,

Reading area

and of course this elephant in the room (taken from their website).

Main play frame

The Ipoh folks should count themselves lucky to have such a family and kids friendly facility around, as I think it is hard pressed to find something equivalent in KL. In fact anywhere in Malaysia. Sure it is not free to enter, like other cafes or restaurants. But with deals like this, it is as affordable as you can get.

After school deal

Yukids in One Utama

Visited an indoor soft play in Kuala Lumpur today, called Yukids, and it is located in one of the largest shopping mall in Malaysia, One Utama. I must say that it is not the kind of soft play I’m familiar with.

20130405-171441.jpg

As you can see from the picture the stuff is very different from what I’d expect from a soft play in the UK. No big climb frame. No fibre glass type slides, only air inflatables. There are quite a few standalone play items, like revolving drum, small slide that looks like water fall with water flowing underneath etc. Quite interesting if you have not seen them before. But for the children I think the play can be a bit disjointed as they are rather randomly placed. I must say that my daughter seems to enjoy the soft play nevertheless. As children generally likes to play anyway. But for parents, there are not that many seatings though. Only four tables and about 20 chairs. I can imagine that if the place gets crowded parents will be annoyed by the lack of seatings. The entrance is RM20 on weekdays, for whole day play. But I can’t see children feeling too keen to spend the whole day in there, let alone the parents. On weekends or school holidays, it charges RM28. Not expensive considering that this is KL, and located in a popular shopping mall. But for me it is still a lot of money for not a lot of things to play with.

Kidzoona in Aeon 18 Ipoh

We are back in Ipoh again. Visited Aeon at Station 18 for the first time. It is a new shopping mall, biggest in Perak I think. We went there to do a bit grocery shopping, mainly to buy some food stuff for our little one.

We heard that there is an indoor soft play, called Kidzoona. So we decided to pay that a visit first before we go shopping. It is located on the first floor. But since we did not know the whereabouts of it, and the floor plan that we found did not show its location, so I volunteered to ask a security guard. But turns out that he did not know where it is yet told us to go up second floor. Very annoyed that some people would give direction even though they don’t know the location. We had to ask again, this time a shop keeper, then only we found the place.

The play area is actually rather small. Well, compared to what we are used to anyway in the UK. The climb frame is tiny, and is only suitable for children under 1.35m. SA went in once and that was it. There are some push karts which SA always like to play with. Particularly filling the boot of the kart with random bits of toys. There are two giant inflatables, one is a slide and the other is like a bouncy castle. The indoor soft plays in the UK have moved away from inflatables and use fibre glass slides many years ago. Anyway I guess it is much easier to install inflatables than proper climb frame, especially in shopping malls.

Can’t say we are overly impressed with Kidzoona. But at RM10 for entrance on week day I think it still represents good value. In the UK we can get into over 10,000 sq ft indoor soft play with £3, but situated in a warehouse. That is the kind of difference.

What do families do in Malaysia?

I have been in the UK for over 15 years now. That’s almost half my life spent here. It is only through holiday in Malaysia that I get to have a feel of what families generally do in Malaysia. Particularly ever since my siblings started having children.

Bringing up children in Malaysia is very different from bringing up children in the UK. If both parents have full time job, it is not uncommon to send their babies to be care for by carer or nanny. And I don’t mean sending them to day care. The babies in fact don’t even sleep with their parents at night. So parents only get to see their babies for a couple of hours a day at most on weekdays. This also means that babies in Malaysia stay up later than those in the UK. And that is again very common in Malaysia. I find this kind of arrangement fascinating. Is it in the knowledge that babies don’t have much memory at such age that parents do not mind staying away from their babies? Or that they just don’t want their babies to affect their sleeps and disrupt their life style etc. Some families get their stay-at-home maids to care for their babies as well. But increasingly it seems, at least for those who can afford to do so, that they will hire a separate nanny for caring the little ones, on top of the maids they hire to do house chores. In so doing the parents can continue to live the lifestyle like before they have any children. This to many can only be afforded by at least the upper middle class in the UK. Whether this is really an affordability issue I’m not very sure. But from what I can see is parents in the UK tend to or are more willing to spend more time with their children than those in Malaysia. At least that seems to be the case among my circle of friends and acquaintances anyway.

Ok so the Malaysians get to live their life on weekdays in particular. But what about weekends? On weekends they still like to spend time doing what they like to do. And shopping is one of their favourite pass time. It’s difficult to blame them because Malaysia is very hot in the day. Apart from air conditioned shopping malls there are not many other places for families to hang out. They may go to parks in the morning or evening. But parks in Malaysia are not as well equipped with children play items as in the UK. And they often look jaded due to the scorching sun in Malaysia all year round. Since public funding is scarcer than in the UK, these play items are also less well looked after or maintained.

Eating is another national pass time. Malaysia has plenty of choices when it comes to food. You can eat in hawker stalls or fine dining type restaurants. Speaking for Malaysians of Chinese ethic origin, they normally go to Chinese restaurants which are typically not children friendly. Everyone sits together at the big round table and tuck in. Kids menu is unheard of. And children will play with whatever they find and normally that means plates, bowls, chopsticks and what have you. This is fine if you do this once in a while, and go somewhere more children friendly occasionally. But no it is almost always adults oriented on where families go.

In addition, when parents want to go out, to meet friends, or just more private time for themselves, they can conveniently leave their children with their grannies, because family is tighter in the Far East. Whereas here the Brits don’t often live close together, let alone in the same house when they have their own family! When they go on a vacation, they leave their children behind too. This is tempting no doubt if given that kind of option. But it can be so much fun if the whole family can travel together.

Some parents don’t seem to appreciate that children grow very quickly. Once they get older they may not want to travel with you or to be too close to you any more even if you threaten them. And children are most innocent when they are young. So so much fun just to be around them. Ok not all the time as they can be a pain sometimes too, throwing tantrums, selfish and stubborn. But often the joy you get outweighs the pain you endure. If I were you I will treasure the moments the best I can. No one knows what life can throw at you next.

Indoor soft play

Indoor soft play is a type of children play centre that we only recently found out about. There are loads of them in the UK, over a thousand of them, but somehow we are just unaware of their presence after living in the UK for over 15 years. My English friend has not been into one before, and probably has not even heard about it before! To be fair he has not got any kids yet.

In the UK these play centres are located away from busy areas like the high streets or city center. Rates at these locations are understandably higher. But they also don’t often have large and/or tall enough premises to house climbing frames which are normally found in every indoor soft play. So these play centres are often located at light industrial estates, in warehouses for example. This explains why we have not come across of them before. And the fact that we have few friends who have kids did not help too.

So in the UK many parents will make effort to bring children to these places like play ground and indoor soft play, where children can have a fun time (I think the parents enjoy having fun with their children too). In Malaysia, there are indoor play centres too (also known as play gyms in Malaysia). They are relatively small, when compared to those in the UK. But most importantly most if not all of them are located in shopping malls. How successful these play centres are I can’t tell. What I can say is families are charged more as a result of the premium location to get in in return for a poorer indoor soft play experience. Does not mean that there is not a business case for such model, as Malaysians like to visit shopping malls for whatever reasons and that means a one-stop location for the family to do everything. Parents are happy because they can shop and children also happy as they get to have fun in the soft play (of course provided the parents are happy to bring them in!). But from what I understand, these play centres seem purely for the children to play. There are often not a lot of space like seating area where the parents can sit down, relax and possibly catch up with friends if they go in a group. This is another interesting phenomenon in Malaysia. Often children are taken to wherever the parents want to go. And the places they go are often not children friendly. Children get bored quickly and make life difficult for the parents. Children friendly places on the other hand are not very parents or adults friendly. This is probably a big reason why parents are reluctant to bring their children into the play centres, as it is awkward for them to be there for long period of time.

I just hope that there will be more young family friendly places in Malaysia. Family should stay tight as a unit, whatever the circumstances. It is all too easy to leave children at home with their grannies and leave them to play on their own.