Four-year-old drowns at Great America

Filed under: Preschoolers, Places To Go, Health & Safety: Babies

You gotta watch your kids. At the playground, if you're not watching, they're liable to get clobbered by a kid on a swing. In a 150-foot-long wave pool, they may very well drown. That's exactly what happened yesterday at the Great America amusement park in Santa Clara, California, an hour South of San Francisco.

According to the park's general manager, Bill Lentz, it is unclear where the boy's mother and sister, who had brought him to the park, were at the time. There were six lifeguards on duty as well. For a 150-foot long pool, however, that would mean a lifeguard stationed twenty to twenty-five feet apart, and probably alternating which side they're on as well. That's probably more than adequate to handle teens and adults who know how to swim and can handle the big waves introduced into the pool on a regular basis. It's certainly nowhere near adequate for spotting a four-year-old boy amongst the crowds of swimmers.

There are a lot of questions that spring to mind. Where were the mother and sister? Even if they were right with him and were unable, for some reason, to save him or alert others to his predicament, is a wave pool a suitable place for a four-year-old to be playing? There are at least two other areas more suitable for a preschooler than the wave pool, including "Kookaburra Cay", where "Little blokes and sheilas (boys and girls) will splish and splash in this 'spray-ground' of interactive fountains and water activities."

Whatever the circumstances turn out to have been, this is indeed a terrible tragedy and a great loss for the family. One should never turn ones back on the ocean and I guess that goes for simulated ones as well.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.