A distraught mum has told how her two-year-old son escaped from a children’s play centre and was found wandering outside.

Claire Mason thought her son Jack was safe at Monkey Bizness at Tower Park, Poole, but the toddler managed to leave the play area, pass reception, go down a flight of stairs and get out of the building.

The play area is now improving its security and says it will be one of the safest entertainment centres in the country.

Mum-of-one Claire, 33, from Branksome, said: “He [Jack] was found heading towards the car park with no shoes or coat on. Anything could have happened – it’s awful, but you think of Madeline McCann. You don’t know what weirdoes are out there.”

The incident happened on Saturday, November 22. Claire said she lost sight of Jack as he played with friends in the inter-linking play zones.

“When I couldn’t see him I went inside and climbed through all the tunnels with my heart beating thinking ‘where is he?’ Jack was spotted outside by a woman, who returned him to his distressed mum.

Claire added: “I know my child is my responsibility but when you go to a place like this you think you can let them play safely without worrying about them escaping.”

Lyndsey Fisher, general manager, at Monkey Bizness Poole, said the exit doors to the play area could only be operated by adults. CCTV footage showed Jack had followed another family out.

She said: “Monkey Bizness is a parental supervision facility. We put safety measures in place to assist parents while supervising their children, which include CCTV, parental-only access doors and a manned reception desk. Safety is the number one consideration of the Monkey Bizness Group.”

She said it was installing electric exit gates, which will be operated by the receptionist, and added: “We are also going to install the latest technology swipe card system. This will make us one of the safest family entertainment centres in the country.”

A Borough of Poole environmental health officer visited Monkey Bizness following the incident. A council spokesman said: “They have agreed to make the necessary changes to prevent a repeat of this incident in future.”