Jobsworth play centre staff have apologised to a mum – after they banned her baby son from drinking his bottle of water on the premises.
Eleven-month-old Nathaniel Griffiths was with gran Linda Fry when a woman worker said the lad could only drink something bought from the centre.
Despite Linda, 50, explaining that Nathaniel suffered from a condition which made him sick unless the water was boiled and sterilised, staff threatened to boot them out.
Staff at Play Planet, in Hereford, even told Linda that if she refused to buy an 80p bottle of water Nathaniel would have to drink his own in the car park.
Linda – who had paid £4 for Nathaniel to play in the centre – was so shocked she left after the incident on October 22.
Furious mum Catherine Griffiths, 32, branded the staff “jobsworths.”
Catherine, a manager at a car hire firm, said: “My other half was in hospital having an operation so my mother was looking after him for the day.
“She thought it might be a nice idea to take him to a play centre as it was raining.
“When I got home that evening she said what had happened and I was incensed to be honest, I was fuming.
“Not only was I dealing with the stress of my other half being in hospital, I was told this about my baby.
“I fired off an email to the play centre but it took them a week to get back to me.
“They thought my baby was 18 months but my mother did say to the girl on the desk he was under 18 months.
“The excuse made by the play centre was that they have to make a profit and can’t allow children to eat or drink food from home.
“It beggars belief that staff can be such jobsworths over a baby.”
Linda, a specialist teaching assistant, added: “I explained to the staff that he was a child who was 11 months and was a sickly baby who was on medication.
“He had a sterilised bottle with boiled and cooled water but they said he couldn’t have water unless we purchased it from the premises.
“I was shocked and appalled. It was very obvious he was a baby and couldn’t walk on his own.
“The issue was that he couldn’t have his sterilised water bottle. Because I had explained you would have thought it would have been allowed.
“If he had been sick then it would’ve been a lot of sick.”
Bosses at Play Planet, in Hereford, have since apologised to the family – saying that the member of staff mistakenly thought Nathaniel was 18-months-old.
Play Planet director Adam Phillips said: “It would seem that there was an unfortunate misunderstanding on the day.
“I sincerely apologise for this.
“Suffice to say, it is not usual policy, and the member of staff in question has received refresher training.
“The business is obviously run to make a profit and part of this profit is derived from the sale of food and drink.”