Death of Toddler Raises Goal Post Safety Concerns

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Over the weekend in Antioch, Tenn., two-year-old Melanie Rodriguez was killed by a soccer goal when it was blown over by a strong wind, landing on top of her. The accident has gotten people talking about the dangers of unsecured equipment.

Tim Heath, president of Nashville’s Heartland Soccer Club, told FOX17News, "It's unfortunate, but if we get a 30 or 40 mph wind, and the goals are not anchored, it has the potential to flip over and be dangerous.” He recommends using ground anchors and chains in multiple places to secure the goals from tipping in either direction.

Kris Thompson, an employee of the Nashville Sports Leagues, said the organization is well aware of the dangers, adding "We have our maintenance team to have our sandbags inspected, we make sure there are sandbags on both sides of the goal post to make sure they're held down properly.”

Melissa Jaramillo is a mother of 13 children, all of whom have regular access to the soccer fields. "One of the things we watch out for is making sure the little ones don't play inside the net or try to climb the goals. Kids will hang on goals like monkey bars,” she said.

So far, it is not known whether measures were taken to secure the goals at the International Soccer Complex, where Melanie was killed. In a press release, the complex assured the public that staff will be conducting a review of safety guidelines on and off the field. 

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