A PARKHALL mum has called for safety improvements at council-run playparks after her daughter was hospitalised with a dislocated elbow and fracture.

Vikki Craig’s nine-year-old daughter Caoimhe Prior was left in agony after she slipped on a wet metal grate designed to keep dogs out of the West Dunbartonshire Council playpark at Dumbarton’s Meadow Centre.

The St Eunan’s Primary pupil was rushed to hospital to discover she had dislocated her elbow and had a hairline fracture.

Severe swelling on the youngster’s arm caused doctors to fear an operation might be required. Less than 24-hours after her ordeal, the primary five pupil was taken back to hospital where she was put under anaesthetic and a dye was put in her arm to assess the damage.

Vikki, 40, told the Post: “She was down in the park after being at the swimming baths with her dad and her younger sister. It was a really bad fall, it was a sore one. It was a really terrible few days.

“I’ve spoken to loads of people since who agree they’re really dangerous. Lots of parents don’t like them and have slipped on them.”

She added: “My friend in work nearly smashed her front teeth out when she was leaving a park one day.

“You don’t expect it from the park – you expect the park to be a safe space. It’s quite dangerous.”

Caoimhe’s accident has left her terrified of the grates, prompting fears from her worried mum she won’t return to playparks – formerly one of her favourite activities – once she’s fully healed.

The active youngster was left indoors during the school October week, with the incident occurring just two days before the holiday, and her five-year-old sister was traumatised watching Caoimhe in pain.

Now, Vikki is determined to ensure the same doesn’t happen to other children but says the council have avoided addressing her concerns, instead passing her from one person to another.

She said: “I was passed from one person to another and they kept saying they’d get back to me but it’s been more than two weeks now and I’ve not heard anything.

“I just want to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else or at least warn people so they can watch out for it.”

Caoimhe is adjusting well to life with a cast on and will require further check-ups before doctors know it’s safe to remove.

By the time Caoimhe’s arm has healed, Vikki wants to see a change to the parks across Clydebank and Dumbarton.

Dumbarton councillors, whose ward covers the location of the playpark, said they will look into the matter to see if safety improvement can be made.

Councillor Brian Walker said: “I understand the need to have some form of deterrent to keep dogs out of the area in which children play. But if the actual grates are not fit for purpose and unsafe then a solution must be found immediately.”

Councillor David McBride added: “The new play park is being enjoyed by many children and it has proved very popular.

“I am, however, concerned to hear of this accident. I will be making enquires to see what action can be taken to reduce the slip hazard for children in future.”

A West Dunbartonshire Council spokesman said: “We are sorry to hear about this isolated accident and wish the girl involved a speedy recovery. Over the last year, as part of our work to upgrade existing play areas, we have been replacing grates with self-closing gates and this will continue until all grates have been replaced.”