South West Wales

Boy, 4, has finger amputated after Swansea party

Jason and Hayley Carmichael and their son Ethan
Image caption Jason and Hayley Carmichael with their son Ethan

A four-year-old boy has lost his finger after a table fell and crushed his hand at a children's party in Swansea.

Doctors had to amputate Ethan Carmichael's little finger after the round 'bar-type' table toppled over at the Playfootball centre in the city.

His parents urged the company to remove the tables when staging parties.

The nationwide company told the Evening Post it had done, it was an "unfortunate incident" and it took health and safety very seriously.

Ethan, from Gorslas, attended a party at the centre on Saturday 5 February with his mother Hayley.

His father Jason said as Ethan was playing the circular table with a narrow base and wide top toppled over onto his son's hand.

"The doctors tried to save the finger but the bones were shattered and crushed," he said.

"The vessels had been squashed and badly damaged as well - it went black almost like a gorilla's finger."

Ethan had an operation to remove it two days later and will return to hospital on Friday to have the thick bandaging changed.

"In himself he is OK but he has not seen his hand since the operation," said Mr Carmichael.

"I have tried to tell him that doctors have had to take the finger away but he can still feel it and does not understand that the finger has gone - he is only four.

"It's devastating for us really."

Image caption The bones in Ethan's finger were "shattered and crushed"

Mr Carmichael said he was worried that his son could be bullied at some point in the future or lose confidence.

"His mother has been tearful. It has not sunk in really. It's going to be hard when we see his hand when they take the wadding and bandages off on Friday."

He said he spoke to his local paper about the incident as he wanted other parents to be aware of the dangers of the "bar-type" tables.

He also wants assurances from the company that they will be removed when children's parties are held.

"I would hate it to happen to someone else - we just want parents to have a better awareness," he added.

BBC Wales has contacted the Playfootball centre in Swansea and is awaiting a response.

But a spokesman for the company told the South Wales Evening Post staff were very upset about the incident and the tables had been removed.

"This was a very unfortunate incident and the very last thing we would want to happen," the spokesman is quoted as saying.

"We have a lot of children's parties and summer camps and we take health and safety very seriously.

"We have removed the tables and are looking at everything we can do.

"Fixing the tables may not be an option because we use the area as a dance floor, so we are looking at using lower tables."

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