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The catcher in the white: New pads stop sledding tots from hitting Sunset Park’s fence

Pad-ington bear: The Parks Department installed padding at the base of Sunset Park’s popular sledding hill, which protects kids from smashing into the chain-link fence.
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Give ’em a pad on the back.

The Parks Department installed special padding Thursday along the dreaded chain-link fence located perilously close to the base of Sunset Park’s popular sledding hill. And it’s a snow-day miracle, because the fence has earned a bad reputation over the years for shredding tots as they plummet at break-neck speeds into the metal mesh, according to one dad.

“I’ve heard people have broken limbs sliding into the fence, so it’s nice to see the Parks Department put some barriers up,” said Sunset Park dad Doug Happ, who hit the slopes there with his kids.

The high winds and continuing snow Thursday morning kept the hill from being completely overtaken by sledders, but a handful of die-hard wintertime fun-seekers could be found there braving the cold and bouncing harmlessly off the special padding.

The new pads were not installed along the full length of the fence, but the few sledders there had no problems clustering around the orange speed breaks.

The Parks Department has placed hay bales around the fence in the past, but are using the new orange padding blocks as a more sustainable option for keeping kids in one piece, according to Brooklyn parks commissioner Martin Maher.

“This park is a beloved destination when it snows, and we decided to try something new this year,” he said.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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