Cedar Fair sets new pool rule after death of 4-year-old

Posted Wednesday, July 18, 2007 8:59 AM | Contributed by Infamy

Responding to the drowning last week of a 4-year-old boy in its new wave pool, Great America officials said Monday they will now require anyone shorter than 4 feet to wear a life jacket in some of the park's water attractions. The change follows an edict by the theme park's parent company, Cedar Fair, which will enact the tougher restriction in all 18 of its parks around the country. Locally, the rule will apply not only to the "Great Barrier Reef" wave pool but also to the Castaway Creek river ride. Adult supervision will not be required, and the company is still reviewing the way its lifeguards are deployed.

Read more from The Mercury News.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007 9:24 AM
Acoustic Viscosity's avatar Adult supervision will not be required?

Ummm......ok......

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007 9:45 AM
The problem is, a lifeguard can't visually enforce adult supervision in a few seconds. They *can* enforce life jackets with a quick visual scan.
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Wednesday, July 18, 2007 10:11 AM
Yeah. That seems pretty odd for a "new" policy. Why not just say adult supervision is required? If you don't say it is, you're almost saying you don't have to watch your kids. I'm surprised a lawyer approved that.
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Wednesday, July 18, 2007 10:35 AM
Because in practical terms, it's almost impossible to enforce.
"Is that your mom? Is that your mom? Is that your mom?"
It would require twice the manpower, annoy five times the guests and accomplish nothing in terms of safety.
Besides, why rule out responsible older siblings?

-'Playa

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007 10:57 AM
Man, I feel really bad about all of the loss of life at Theme Parks this year. It looks like SF and CF are both going to pay out big settlements. I am surprised that there have not been more deaths of this nature at Waterparks. There are too many people who assume that because you are at a Theme Park or Waterpark that you are absolutley safe and no supervision is required. I would never let my kids under the age of 9 swim or go un- supervised. My head is on a swivel to constantly know where there are at all times. These Parents may have just had a monentary loss of line of sight. But I know I see plenty of Parents who just do not watch thier kids. I am surprised that there are not more incidents.
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Wednesday, July 18, 2007 12:23 PM
rollergator's avatar "Adult supervision" is obviously not enforceable. Given that half the kids out there don't have ONE adult capable of properly supervising them....well, you see where that's heading... ;)

Nonetheless, the LAST thing I would EVER say, verbally or in writing, is "come to my place of business and you're no longer responsible for YOUR own children". That's plain NUTS!

IMO... ;)

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007 12:51 PM
Who cares if it's enforceable? You could still have the policy. They have a park policy that you must keep your head back, arms down and be holding onto the safety bar on EVERY ride in the park. But, do they enforce this? No. So, what's the harm is telling people they have to supervise their children under a certain age even if they don't enforce it? It seems like a no-brainer to me. Telling people they don't have to watch their kids infers the park will and that's just moronic.
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Wednesday, July 18, 2007 2:13 PM
Yup, Put seatbelts on em too!
Or they could have responsible lifeguards.

Chuck

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007 2:59 PM
They can't enforce adult supervision. If they a policy it has to be enforcible.

Remember we live in a society filled with crooked lawyers and lazy people wanting to win the "hillbilly" jackpot on a lawsuit.

If they required adult supervision and something happened to a kid, there would be basis to sue because they didn't enforce their rule.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007 3:58 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the current/former "policy" (or lack thereof) as it stood prior to the incident that adult supervision wasn't necessarily required? Life vests weren't required (but offered) before. I think that line is just a convoluted way of saying "The only thing that's changing from before is that everyone under 48" must be wearing a life vest in the pools and rivers"

And before you blast Cedar Fair for the rule, try blasting the people who will sue, and the insurance companies who dictate the rules to keep the insurance premiums down. Sure, CF could say no, but then they would pay a heck of a lot more $$$ to do so.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007 4:15 PM

Who cares if it's enforceable? You could still have the policy.

The park cares. If a guest dies, it makes the news---even if the guest was "violating policy". This makes parks look bad. Parks don't like to look bad.
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Wednesday, July 18, 2007 7:43 PM
Uh yeah. That's my point. I was talking about them saying adult supervision is not required - not the life jacket issue.

I'll also reiterate. It doesn't matter if they can't enforce the supervision rule. They can't enforce arms down on coasters either, but they still have the policy posted in thousands of places in the park.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007 9:52 PM
I agree with the policy. Why not? In some states, you have to ride a boat. Why shouldn't you wear a life vest in a wave pool? Where is the more logical/likely place your going to drown?
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Wednesday, July 18, 2007 10:57 PM
halltd: As someone mentioned, this isn't a "new" policy. There's been discussion about whether the major parks should start enforcing such a policy. The difficulty, as many have mentioned, is that there hasn't been a way to effectively enforce it... Yet. So the lawyers are probably saying, "Don't create a rule that you cannot enforce," instead of "Who cares if its enforceable?"

parkman: First, there are more incidents like this every summer than are ever covered in the media, even niche outlets like Coasterbuzz. Second, the reason that you've seen less of these stories in recent years is because the lifeguard training agencies have gotten damn good at their jobs.

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Friday, July 20, 2007 4:49 PM
The tone of this topic really puts light on where we are headed as a whole. It's gettng to the point (really has passed it in some cases) where no matter what you do, your wrong. It seems all you have to do is tell a news agency your "version" of what happened and why you were wronged and they will run with it. I really can't believe how much discussion has taken place over this simple statement about "parental supervison". Just as sad is the fact they are just as equally worried about it on the parks side.

It doesn't really matter what you do besides short of committing suicide (even that probably would be the parks fault). The lawyers have got what appears to be their ace in the hole "the park failed to provide a safe enviornment". What a load of crap.

It makes lawsuits with merit suspicious, but only suspicious to the people who somehow never wind up on a jury.

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