Boy ‘left hanging by neck’ at Hartlepool soft play area

HANGING SCARE ... Archie Smith and the hole his family say he was left hanging from.
HANGING SCARE ... Archie Smith and the hole his family say he was left hanging from.

THIS is the hole in a soft play area where it is claimed a youngster was left dangling by his neck 3ft from the floor after falling through it.

Little Archie Smith, three, was allegedly left hanging with the netting around his neck after slipping through the hole during a visit to an amusement arcade.

His quick-thinking brother Taylor grabbed the weight of Archie and he quickly dropped down to the floor without any harm after being untangled.

But his mum Kirstie Malcolm has now called for Seaside Sammy’s, which is situated within the Talk of the Town arcade, to be closed and properly repaired to prevent the accident from happening to any other youngsters.

Kirstie and her partner Rodney Smith had travelled from their home in Station Town with Archie and his sister Yasmine, 13, and eight-year-old brother Taylor to see the fireworks display at Seaton on Bonfire Night.

To keep the children entertained before the fireworks started, Kirstie and Rodney took them into the amusement arcade.

But then Archie fell in the climbing section of the soft play area.

Kirstie, a 36-year-old full-time mum, said: “I was sitting just a few yards away when it happened, and I was in complete shock.

“When I saw what had happened I shouted to Taylor to hold him up by his legs until I could get in to him.

“He had been climbing, and his body had slipped through this hole. But as he slipped through, his head was caught in the hole, so he was basically just left dangling with his feet a couple of feet from the floor.

“As soon as Taylor held him up, his head slipped through and he just dropped down onto the soft playmat.

“He was fine, but if I hadn’t spotted him straight away who knows what might have happened.”

Kirstie says she immediately informed staff within the arcade what had happened, and claims she was told the incident would be logged in the accident book.

But she is demanding more is done in case any other child isn’t as lucky as Archie.

She added: “I think it should be shut down while health and safety look into it.

“I took a photo of the hole, and you can see it has been tied up and patched up time and time again. I think it should be shut down and all ripped down and replaced before it is allowed to open again.

“Putting it in the accident book is no good to anyone.

“What happens if another kid isn’t so lucky? If I didn’t report this, I couldn’t live with myself if something happened to somebody else’s child.”

Management at Talk of the Town declined to comment when approached by the Mail.