Water balloon fight in Prospect Park

Popped water balloons are a tot lot choking hazard, parents claim

The Brooklyn Paper
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Big kids with water balloons have turned a Prospect Park tot lot into a choking hazard for toddlers, say concerned Brooklyn parents.

It’s not the water fights that are the problem, it’s the little bits of latex left on the ground in the recreation area for rug rats at the Vanderbilt Playground — and the children and parents who refuse to clean up the mess, according to worried moms and dads.

“It always makes me nervous as a mom to see these little pieces of balloons everywhere,” said Alexa Orr, who brings her young daughter and baby son to the tot lot in the park’s southwest corner.

“Since my daughter started crawling, I couldn’t believe all of the junk on the ground,” she said.

The fenced-off section for little tykes is just a fraction of the playground’s total real estate, but a sprinkling water sculpture makes it appealing for children well over the posted age limit of 5.

But that water sculpture has turned the play area into the frontline for water-balloon battles — and parents with young children say there must be a better place for the splash fights.

“I have nothing against kids playing with water balloons, but it shouldn’t be in the area with the toddlers,” said Abby Wolfson, a mother of a 9-month-old who started a lively discussion of the issue on a local listserv, where other moms and dads accused her of being a “helicopter parent.”

Less-worried parents say the broken water balloons are just another example of would-be hazards that those caring for toddlers can never truly eliminate.

“When you are a first-time parent, I understand why it might concern you,” said Liliana Arzate, in the playground with her children, ages 9, 6, and 3. “But I bring my kids here because they like the water.”

Wolfson scoffed at the notion that she is being overprotective — saying that when the rubber hits the road, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

“I’m a big believer in bumped heads and skinned knees, but it’s my responsibility to make sure my kid isn’t putting garbage and things she can choke on in her mouth,” she said. “Maybe we could have a sign that says, ‘Please keep water balloons out of the toddler area,’ and have another that says, ‘Please clean up.’ ”

A spokeswoman from the Parks Department said there are no restrictions on water balloon use in city parks, and would not say whether the city will consider adding signs to the tot lot.

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow him at
Updated 5:34 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

"Interloper" from Kent Ave says:
hahaha Li nicely done.

In all seriousness, people should pick up their trash no matter what it is...condoms, water balloons, bbq trash, etc... However this is another example of an absurdly over concerned Prospect Park parent who is clearly not fit for normal society nor for raising children.
June 21, 2012, 8:27 am
Tru from Slope says:
So are cigarette butts, bottle caps, acorns, stones, and small twigs.

If your kid is so young that he's crawling around and putting stuff in his mouth, WATCH YOUR KID.

If people were leaving razor blades or heroin needles all over the place, I might understand the complaints. Who are these fun haters?
June 21, 2012, 8:46 am
adamben from bedstuy says:
well, you should clean up after yourself, plain and simple. just because there are always hazards out there for toddlers doesn't mean you have to make more. now go and clean your room or there will be no dessert for you!
June 21, 2012, 9:33 am
Rufus Leaking from BR says:
What's her name?

The dependant woman that Pres. B.O. has at the federal trough all her life?

SOMEBODY has to do something to raise my children for me! I can't do anything without the government!
June 22, 2012, 9:11 am
Mickey Shea from Greenpoint says:
It takes a village to raise a brat.
June 22, 2012, 9:33 am
Brooklyn DeBased from Bay Ridge says:
It seems my work here was done for me.
June 22, 2012, 10:03 am
bored at work from Carroll Gardens says:

So this is a "story" because two mothers in Park Slope have concerns about pieces of water balloons?

As Tru says, if you have a crawling child, you need to watch them at all times and see what they put in your mouth. You can try to childproof your house, but not the world and certainly not a public park.

And perhaps more importantly, I would be much more worried about how my daughter named "Calliope" is going to be treated in school, rather than the potential harm from eating a piece of a balloon.
June 22, 2012, 12:31 pm
Skellatosis from Bk says:
Watch your kids you lazy privileged a-holes.
June 22, 2012, 1:43 pm
Rufus Leaking from BR says:

June 22, 2012, 3:03 pm
Old time Brooklyn from Slope says:
i love the outrage as she lets the kid have a pic tsken with the deadly baloons - and honestly looking at her is proof some guys will bang anything - who lets a crawler crawl in a park - duhhh
June 23, 2012, 8:43 pm
My Cousin is from Williamsburg from Flatbush-Not "Prospect Park South" says:
Oh my God! Another interloper crying foul for not raising their own kids! Brooklyn is dead, and these implants are the killers.
June 24, 2012, 3:02 am
Keith Malek from Gravesend says:
Ridiculous! These are the same professional victims who get together and raise a fuss when a BAR has the "audacity" to not allow children inside.

Listen, breeders. I know that it's really rough on days when the Jamaican nanny that you usually hand your little human pets over to is sick and has to take the day off. And even though it's really rough to have to actually watch your little accessories rather than talking to your fellow breeders, try to keep things in perspective by remembering that most people have actual JOBS.
June 25, 2012, 6 pm
Old time broolyn from slope says:
Milf's with a paper bag over their heads - and it happens lots- ask the doormen
June 25, 2012, 10:38 pm
James from Park Slope is Truly Dead says:
I have been a resident in Park Slope for over 20 years, and it's a sad thing to see what it has turned into. These implants - these 'eternal tourists', are definitely a cancer here in brooklyn. Never in my 42 years of life on this earth, have I seen such miserable, unpleasant, needy, rude, desperate, vicious, passive-aggressive whiners. When I first came here, there were all kinds of people from all walks of life - all living and gladly interacting with each other. Racism is through the roof here now. These interlopers bought it here like rats bringing in the plague. They pretend to be progressives, but are really a bunch of NIMBYS, using so-called 'green zones' and gardens to re-zone and push out the blacks, or any other 'undesirables'
The average PS 'mom' is a scowling, beat-up looking fascist good-for nothing. I look at them, and wonder; "Who the hell mounted that??" And the average PS 'guy' - if you can even call it that, is a capris wearing girly twit. I'm very sorry to say such things, but it's true, and disheartening to see. Glad I'm not one of them!
July 1, 2012, 9:31 am

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