A four year-old boy with dwarfism was banned from an Ikea childrens play area after workers implied that he might drown in its ball pit.
Whitney Crowder, 32, was astonished with the reason given by staff at the store in Merriam, Kansas, for banning her son Ladd, who is four inches under Smålands 37-inch minimum height requirement.
Recalling the incident, which took place last month, the online saleswoman told Metro US: (The managers said) “A smaller child may get stuck in the ball pit and need help getting out.”
These managers were acting like our son may actually drown in the ball pit. The balls are up to his chest while he plays in there. This really boggled my mind.
I said “Its not water. Hes not going to drown. Theyre plastic balls. He knows how to navigate through toys”
Isnt that part of their regular work day? Kids might get stuck in the ball pit and they have to fish them out. Certainly that wouldnt be a big deal.
Crowder estimates that the ball pit in question reached up to the height of her adoptive sons chest.
But Ikea workers refused to let the disappointed youngster in to play, despite his mothers pleas that Ladd has the same level of common sense as any other child his age.
Recalling what the worker told her son, Crowder said: He said “No thats just our policy”…and I said “Hes short because he has dwarfism.”
Hes not a two-or-one year old, Hes a regular kid.
What he said was that Health and Human Services (HHS), basically the national government makes these rules: that in public play places, children that short are not allowed to play.
And I said “What are you even talking about?”
Crowder said her sons have used numerous public play areas at restaurants, museums, and public parks without ever encountering this government rule.
She explained: We play everywhere. Weve never been denied anywhere to play. This is the first time weve been discriminated against,
Crowder added that when she used the word discrimination the Ikea worker kind of winced and became visibly annoyed with her.
After realizing that the staff member would not budge, Crowder told Ladd and his four year-old brother Rollie that the play area was closed to spare her sons feelings.
She said: They were excited to go in. They could see right in there and see all the toys and everything, and there just looking at it, talking about it…and we said “guys we cant go in today, theyre closed.”
But they were listening and at four years old you can gather some context…I dont know how much they really understood about the discrimination going on.
We dont want to raise our kids with a victim mentality.
Crowder shared her experience on Facebook afterwards. She was then contacted by at least 15 other parents whose children have dwarfism and who said theyd had similar experiences, only to be ignored by Ikea when they complained.
But the emboldened mother refused to take no for an answer, and returnRead More – Source