Using parks as baby sitters

Tuesday, July 20, 2004 5:21 PM
Interesting article here, surprised some parks actually encourage this:

http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/07/19/loc_loc1acamppki.html

This is particularly a huge problem at PGA which is located in such a urban area, that thousands of Silicon Valley parents do indeed use the park as a cheap baby sitter. Thousands of unsupervised kids without parents to control them doesn't always make a enjoyable park visit for the rest of us.

Not all unsupervised kids behave badly and most do follow park rules, but seems like more and more, they are indeed getting worse and worse (see line jumping posting). And we've already had a few incidents just this year of unsupervised kids getting hurt or worse on rides, that probably could have been avoided if a parent had been present. Anyone else see something wrong with all this?

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Tuesday, July 20, 2004 5:27 PM
Here is an article saying a woman faces a year in jail for dropping her kid off at an amusement park.

http://abcnews.go.com/wire/US/ap20040720_411.html

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Tuesday, July 20, 2004 5:35 PM
Thanks for the link supermandl, that's my whole point, it just doesn't seem right, and glad to see Denver city officials agree.
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Tuesday, July 20, 2004 5:36 PM
That's some law in Denver. You can be charged for leaving your 17 year old unsupervised.

I can just see it. Mother charged for leaving her 17 year old unsupervised while he works at MacDoncalds under a state issued work permit.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2004 6:10 PM
Although I think the 11 year-olds should have some sort of adult supervision, if a 16-year-old can drive a car unsupervised...it's kinda wacky (unless the driving laws are different in Colorado)
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Tuesday, July 20, 2004 6:27 PM
I agree that the older kids are old enough to be responsible for themselves, so that law does seem kinda wacky. But as far as leaving 11yr olds and younger waiting out for parents to pick them up at 10pm, just not right. My parents would have never allowed that, and if I ever did have kids, I'd never allow it either. I'd actually care enough about my kid to be sure not to leave them in a potentially dangerous situation, way too many psycho's running free out there, why make it any easier for them?
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Tuesday, July 20, 2004 6:31 PM
I think this is OK for 12 years old and older. They could get into a heck of a lot more trouble if they were left home alown with nothing to do. A park is a great place to keep them active and out of trouble with so many things to do. Any younger and I would say that they need to be with supervision.
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Tuesday, July 20, 2004 7:35 PM
Well, in the McDonald's example, the kis isn't unsupervised. There are managers at McDonald's ya know! It doesn't say who has to supervise them...
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Tuesday, July 20, 2004 8:11 PM
A few of us were just talking about this at Kennywood the other day. I was asking someone why KW did not have season passes and a few people told me that the park did not want to be "babysitters". Whether it's true I have no idea.

-Tina

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Tuesday, July 20, 2004 8:52 PM

jomo said:
And we've already had a few incidents just this year of unsupervised kids getting hurt or worse on rides, that probably could have been avoided if a parent had been present.

If parents that drop their kids off at an amusement park are iresponsible enough to do that, what makes you think their presence would prevent an accident?

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Tuesday, July 20, 2004 9:06 PM
Man, If I ever go to King's Island, its gonna be a day those 2 girls are there.

Oh, and I don't understand the big deal. I'm 14 and I know my way around Cedar Point better then my parents. We seperate all the time without cell phones. Amusement parks, as a whole, are probably safer than most malls or other popular teen hangouts. *** Edited 7/21/2004 1:08:54 AM UTC by Kyle Fobe***

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Tuesday, July 20, 2004 9:54 PM
Yea Kyle, if someone tries to grab a kid or something, there are hundreds of people around to stop it.

It's a safe place and there is a lot to do to keep them out of trouble. Like I said, it's not a good idea to leave the younger kids on their own, but a great idea for teens. Most kids pair up and do their own thing while their parents do something else in the park now. They meet up for lunch or supper or something else.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2004 10:06 PM
It's a tough call. Every themepark out there who's built a waterpark is obviously aware that they are trying to court the tween-teen market. And for the parent, I'm suring that dropping the kid off at the themepark/waterpark is no different to them then dropping them off at the pool or the mall. But, as many already know, many malls have rules against loitering because of groups of kids hanging out together. It doesn't make older people feel "safe".
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Tuesday, July 20, 2004 10:35 PM
11 years old is way too young to leave a child at an amusement park. I'm not even sure I would let my daughter go by herself at 15. But then again, I'll never have this problem because if my kid is going to a park, you can be darn sure I'm going too, LOL.
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Tuesday, July 20, 2004 11:15 PM
I know that the 2 smaller scale parks in the Chicago area (Kiddieland and Santa's Village) state that anyone under 14 has to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

I don't see the problem with teenagers going to the park themselves. You are in a secure environment. Would you rather they hang out on street corners?

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Tuesday, July 20, 2004 11:28 PM

coasterqueenTRN said:
A few of us were just talking about this at Kennywood the other day. I was asking someone why KW did not have season passes and a few people told me that the park did not want to be "babysitters". Whether it's true I have no idea.

I had heard this as well. I wondered why they didn't enstate an age limit on season passes.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2004 12:10 AM
I always see a bunch of unsupervised kids under the age of 12 at Great America (Gurnee) whenever I visit. At first I was somewhat shocked to see kids this young just wondering around, it didn't seem right, and I am just a teenager myself.
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Wednesday, July 21, 2004 10:30 AM
I'm remembering correctly when I say that Lake Winnie instituted a "no one under 18 admitted without parent or guardian" policy EARLY this season...(or was that last year, time FLIES)....

Personally, I'm ALL for that kind of rule...and you CAN go to Lake Winnie with a "park admission only" of under 5 bucks...although WHY you would do that with SUCH great rides is beyond me....;)

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Wednesday, July 21, 2004 11:19 AM

janfrederick said:
Although I think the 11 year-olds should have some sort of adult supervision, if a 16-year-old can drive a car unsupervised...it's kinda wacky (unless the driving laws are different in Colorado)

Actually it is different for anyone under 18 to get a drivers license. My friends daughter is going through it right now, they have to have something like 140 hours behind the wheel before taking the test. A majority of the hours must be after dark. The alternate is to go through drivers ed which can be quite expensive. At first I was confused by the law, but in the past month there have been 6 teens in my town killed in auto accidents, all due to excessive speeding.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2004 12:55 PM
It wasn't unusual when we went to KW as kids that we were given a ticket book and let loose. However, our parents were in the park, at a predetermined location (picnic pavillion). When we ran out of tickets we went back to get another book. This ensured that we checked in frequently. I recall we were about 10 or 11 when we were allowed to do this. Before tthen one of our parents went with us to each ride.
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