A public playground has been closed after a little girl almost lost the end of her finger on a seesaw which had become ‘like a guillotine’ through poor maintenance.
Young Ellie-May Binyon, aged six, screamed in agony when her right hand became trapped between the heavy moving metal seat and exposed pedestal.
Her mother Kim said the protective wooden covering of the ride had rotted away and left it posing a danger to children.
She said the tip of Ellie-May’s finger was “just hanging” with the nail ripped off and she needed two hours of surgery to reattach it with eight stitches.
Kim, 33, fears her daughter’s ring finger on her right hand will now be permanently deformed after the Good Friday incident in Welbourne Park, Peterborough, Cambs.
The single mother-of-four, an admin worker at a local MOT test centre, said: “Ellie ran off with her brother and her sister to play on the seesaw.
“I was over the other side of the playground and I just heard a scream and I ran over there.
“Ellie got her finger out herself and came over to me and I looked and there was blood everywhere and it was just hanging, it was horrible.
“Her finger – you could just see a line going straight through her finger from the very tip of it and there was just blood dripping down her hand and down her arm.
“I just grabbed hold of her hand and squeezed it up over her head to try to stop it bleeding and try to keep it from her because she was obviously scared of the blood and she saw her injury.
“I daren’t open my hand again because I had seen the cut before. I didn’t know if it was going to be detached, I didn’t know what i was going to see when I opened my hand.”
Kim added: “I was just absolutely terrified. I was trying not to panic because i didn’t want to worry her but I was absolutely terrified.
“There was no nail there – the nail had been completely clipped of it – that much have come out when she pulled out her hand.
“There was a cut going completely across what’s left of her nailbed so it was sort of cut all the way through.”
Kim said her older daughters, Brooke, 10, Summer, eight, were left in tears as her 12-year-old son Brandon called his grandad Garry for help.
He drove Kim and Ellie-May to Peterborough City Hospital where the youngster underwent surgery for two hours under general anaesthetic.
Kim added: “The surgeons said they are pretty certain the nail will grow back – hopefully in a year. I’m just praying she’ll be okay.”
She later returned to the park and said Peterborough City Council urgently needed to repair the playground.
She said: “The seesaw is rotten. The covering’s just rotted away if you look at it, it’s very old and rotten.
“I couldn’t believe it when I saw how it had been left. That park gets used all the time because it’s right next to Welbourne Primary School.
“It’s not good enough – they need to get rid of their old equipment there.
“There a slide in there that’s very old and you’ve got swings too – that’s the whole thing , it’s children that are playing there.”
A spokesman for council’s contracted maintenance company Amey said: “We take the safety of the communities we serve extremely seriously, and we were very sorry to hear about this recent incident at Welbourne Park.
“We conduct weekly, quarterly and annual assessments of over 2,200 items of play equipment on behalf of Peterborough City Council to ensure they are safe for children to use.
“The equipment was taken out of use as soon as the defect was reported on Sunday, April 16, and it will remain out of use until we can investigate and repair the damage.”
A council spokeswoman said: “We’re very sorry to hear about this incident and wish the little girl a speedy recovery.”
On Amey, she added: “Our contract with them includes standards around how equipment is inspected and maintained. We are now looking at what happened in more detail.”