“Some children wear sandals, and some of them wear water-shoes just so that they don’t slip. The surfaces are a rubberized material or they are a heavily brushed concrete, so…[that] children don’t slip. But of course, if they’re running, they can slip or land on their bums or their heads, so walking is advisable.”
As a bonus, Lupert says the water that sprays out at spray pads is actually safe for consumption, so little ones can have a sip if they get thirsty!
“Absolutely, they can drink it. It’s actually potable water, so it’s the exact water source that you would drink from your tap.”
Although families are the primary users of spray pads, Lupert says adults are welcomed to use these free facilities as well. In fact, she had seen quite a few grown-ups take a splash of water at these spray pads.
“I’ve been to [a spray pad] downtown and I’ve seen cyclists or runners that get off their bikes and go for a run in the spray pads and cool off. I’ve seen business people from downtown that spray themselves to cool off as they’re walking through the park. So really, [spray pads] are intended for everyone but families primarily.”
Ultimately, Lupert has one golden advice that she would like to share with parents to ensure that their children are completely safe when playing near water.
“We really encourage parents to watch their children, whether they’re at a wading pool, or a spray pad, the Thames River, or even a backyard pool. It’s really important for parents to know where their children are, especially around the water. Drowning can occur very quickly. If their children are around water, they really should be within arms reach. So we would encourage people to [put] their children right in their eyes, and play and participate with their kids, and keep them safe.”
London’s spray pads will be active until early September, so families and children are welcomed to take a splash during the hot summer months whenever they want.