Chessington accused of letting four-year-old wander out of park

Posted Thursday, June 18, 2009 2:09 PM | Contributed by Jeff

A concerned mother has criticised security at Chessington World of Adventures after her four-year-old son was allegedly allowed to wander out of the park gates unattended. The mother-of-two had stopped to buy a backpack for him at a kiosk close to the exit but, when she turned around, he had gone. A member of staff said he thought the boy had gone to the toilet but a few minutes later she heard her son’s cries outside of the exit.

Read more from The Guardian.

Thursday, June 18, 2009 2:41 PM

I again find myself getting pissed off at people for blaming others for their own mistakes. Why is this the park's fault and not the mother's? She is the one who lost contact with her child and she immediately blames the park. Why would you even report this to the papers and why would they publish this? I just don't understand people.

Last edited by sws, Thursday, June 18, 2009 3:29 PM
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Thursday, June 18, 2009 3:03 PM

"Why can't these businesses protect my children from my parenting." ;)

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Thursday, June 18, 2009 3:21 PM

Hey lady look in the mirror, that is the person at fault here!

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Thursday, June 18, 2009 3:34 PM

Come on people the lady is not asking for the employees to change his crappy diaper, shes asking that if you see a child ANY child leaving the park without adult supervision stop the child ask where the parent is do something.

How is this a bad parent she turned her back for a second to by something for him, thinking he's by her side, I see this happen all the time at the grocery store this doesn't make a person a bad parent. A bad parent is she's off riding the rollercoaster while her 4 year old is wandering the park that's a bad parent and I've seen this happen at Knotts. The child was walking around looking for her crying his eyes out sercurity get's the child by this time the mother is comming off the exit of Silver bullet talking about what's the matter I told you to wait here! Child couldn't have been more then 5yr. 6 max.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009 3:39 PM

Hey Intaminlover, I am a parent of a teenager and when my son was young I NEVER lost track of him! A good parent always keeps an eye on ones child! And for all we know he could have walked out with a group of people exiting and looked like he belonged with that group!

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Thursday, June 18, 2009 3:49 PM

When these kind of Storys get posted I get worried about the Childs Welfare. I mean come on the park is ot responsible.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009 3:50 PM

I agree. She shouldn't have let him wander off, but, security, seeing an unaccompanied child leaving, should have at least stopped him and tried to find out what was happening.

A bit of wrong on both sides.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009 4:00 PM

How in the world is Chessington supposed to know that kid was with her and not somebody else leaving.The lady should take full responsibility for and blame nobody but HERSELF.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009 4:14 PM

The bottom line is this should have been a non-issue. Kids wander off from their parents for brief periods in public places all of the time. We've all had this happen at one time or another - no matter how good of a parent you are. That doesn't make you a bad parent. It undoubtedly was a very scary 4 minutes for the mother and the child. However as a parent you take a deep breath and tell yourself to be more careful next time. You don't blame the park, notify news agencies and blow it completely out of proportion. That is the part that is upsetting. And the park should review their security policies, talk to their employees and make any necessary changes. But why does this have to be totally blown out of proportion?

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Thursday, June 18, 2009 4:42 PM

I wouldn't judge her for poor parenting. Stuff happens. What I take issue with is her distribution of blame to the park.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009 7:31 PM

Wow... what I blame is the media for making such a big deal out of something that probly happens every day at the park. Parents turn around, their kids have wandered off. A friend used to work for a large retailer, and at least three times a week they would have an alert of a missing child... and 99% of the time the kid wandered out to the lobby where the games and such are. Fault of the store? No... proves my point why there needs be a leash law for kids... LOL

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Thursday, June 18, 2009 8:33 PM

My little sister got separated from us at CP one year a long while back. She got distracted at the Bearenstein Bears play area (now Planet Snoopy) like any normal 3 year old would. When security finally found her and notified us, she was found at the Sandcastle Suites. For those familiar with the park you would wonder why we didn't drag the media into it, because she would have had to have left the play area, then the park, then walk down the boardwalk, past Magnum's turnaround, and finally to Sandcastle Suites.

Of course my parents were pretty pissed they they let a 3 year old leave the park by herself. But we ended up finding her and everything worked out.

~Rob

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Thursday, June 18, 2009 11:52 PM

Here's an idea: sit the woman near the exit to the park on the same day/time of the week and ask her to watch the crowd. After an hour or so have child walk through the crowd and let's see if she spots one of the tots. I bet its harder than she assumes.

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Monday, June 22, 2009 12:44 AM

Look, this is a prime example of 'an accident.'

The Mom made a mistake by turning her back. Should security have stepped up? Sure, but are they to blame? Nope.

So there is no blame here, just 'oh well.' Let's go eat an ice cream and move on.

But yeah...anyone who publicly bitches like that needs to silenced. It does nothing but slowly take away the remaining freedom we enjoy in this world.

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