Suspect identified after slide was covered in bleach

Timmy Collins and daughter Chelsea. Picture: Domnick Walsh

The father of a two-year-old girl says she was lucky not to have been blinded when she went down a slide covered in bleach in a Kerry playground.

Gardaí have identified a suspect in relation to the alarming incident in a child’s playground in the centre of Tralee town.

Chelsea Collins had her jeans covered in the chemical when she went down the slide two weeks ago.

But her father, Timmy Collins, said he was thankful the toddler was not permanently scarred, as she usually goes down head first.

“My little girl usually goes down head first,” he said. “It could have gone into her mouth or her eyes. You could go blind.

“Her hands didn’t touch it either because her hands were in the air.

“I just want to know why they did it. They’re targeting kids. My little one got lucky. Someone else’s child might not.”

He said he first noticed there was something wrong when his child’s jeans started to change colour as she stood up.

“They started changing colour straight away,” he said. “I thought it was water but when she stood up her pants started changing colour.

“We took her pants off straight away before it could soak into the skin. There was a full bottle of house bleach left under the slide. She had her nappy on. She had a little red rash that day.

“We brought her to the doctor and she said she was fine once she was wiped down and none of it was near her mouth.”

Mr Collins said he can’t fathom why anyone would target a kid’s playground.

In the wake of the incident gardaí were called and the playground was closed to allow Kerry County Council to clean the bleach.

“The guards were shocked,” said the Tralee dad.

Gardaí have identified the suspect in relation to a case of endangerment and a file has been sent to the national juvenile office.

CCTV footage was taken from shops in the area where the bleach was bought on Saturday, February 24, and a suspect was identified.


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