Monday, March 18th, 2013
Walt Disney World and Disneyland theme parks and resorts will, beginning March 23, no longer allow children under age 14 to enter the park unless they are accompanied by someone who is over age 14. The new rule isn’t a response to any particular incident, but it was put in place after visitor surveys and child welfare organizations both expressed concern about the safety of children who are unaccompanied in the parks. More from The Associated Press:
“If a cast member who is working at the front gates sees a guest who appears to be younger than 14 without someone who appears to be older than that, they will engage in a conversation with the guest,” Disney spokeswoman Suzi Brown told NBC4.
The employee will verbally determine whether the guest is too young to enter on his or her own, since children that age typically do not carry identification with them, she said. The child’s parent or guardian would then be contacted if the visitor is underage, and that adult would need to physically come accompany the child into the park.
Disney chose the age of 14 after the company surveyed its guests and reached out to organizations that deal with child welfare, Brown said. She said both the organizations and visitors agreed on the new age limit.
“That was the age they felt was appropriate,” she said. “That’s also the age the Red Cross recommends for babysitting.”
Image: Girl in amusement park, via Shutterstock
Add a Comment
Tuesday, November 27th, 2012
The number of injuries that have happened on bouncy houses and other inflatable play structures is on the increase, growing 15-fold between 1995 and and 2010. A new study detailing the rise in injuries has led researchers to suggest that the government regulate the structures.
From a Nationwide Children’s Hospital press release announcing the study, which will be published in the journal Pediatrics:
A new study by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital examined pediatric injuries associated with inflatable bouncers, such as bounce houses and moonwalks. Researchers found that from 1995 to 2010 there was a 15-fold increase in the number of inflatable bouncer-related injuries that were treated in U.S. emergency departments among children younger than 18 years of age. In 2010 alone, more than 30 children per day, or about one child every 45 minutes, were treated in hospital emergency departments for injuries associated with inflatable bouncers.
“The findings from this study show that there has been an alarming increase in the number of injuries from inflatable bouncers,” said Gary A. Smith, MD, DrPH, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “It is time for us to take action to prevent these injuries. Ensuring that parents are aware of the potential risks, improving surveillance of the injuries, developing national safety guidelines and improving bouncer design are the first steps.”
Image: Bouncy house, via Shutterstock
Add a Comment
Thursday, November 1st, 2012
An Alabama girl got a stern lecture from local police after she placed an ad on Craigslist offering her 12-year-old brother for sale for $1,200. The prank was more than simply not funny, authorities told her, but dangerous. The Huffington Post has more:
Many kids joke about selling their little siblings. But one Alabama girl took the threat a bit too far.
“12-year-old joyfull [sic] little boy (real) needing a good home, and caring people to be around,” the now-deleted Craigslist ad read. The sale price? A cool $1,200.
Unfortunately, the intended joke fell flat on the authorities who gave the teen behind the ad a stern lecture, WAFF 48 News reported.
“[What] kids and parents need to realize is when you do something like this, you can lure the wrong kind of person, and you’re endangering the child by putting their image out there,” Mike Holt of the Florence Police Department told the TV station.
The ad looked legitimate and authorites feared it was the real deal.
The siblings, who were not named or charged with a crime, were identified by their grandmother, who brought them to the police station when she discovered the prank.
Image: Hands typing, via Shutterstock
Add a Comment
Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
The American Academy of Pediatrics has updated a 1999 recommendation concerning trampolines, now warning children to stay away from them at home and at playgrounds. Nearly 100,000 emergency room visits can be attributed each year to trampoline-related injuries, the group said, and new “safety features” on many trampolines can give families a false sense of security. Reuters has more:
“As best we can tell, the addition of safety nets and padding has actually not changed the injuries we have seen,” said Dr. Susannah Briskin, a sports medicine specialist who helped draft the new statement.
It’s estimated that the number of trampoline injuries nationwide has been dropping – from 111,851 cases treated at ERs in 2004, to 97,908 in 2009. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the devices have become any less dangerous, Briskin told Reuters Health.
“Even though there has been a decrease in injuries,” she said, “I caution people against taking that too literally because the number of trampolines has also decreased.”
The actual risk of hurting yourself if you step onto a trampoline is not clear, Briskin added, because there are no good data on national exposure. The rate of hospitalization due to the injuries is about three percent.
Mark Publicover, founder and president of JumpSport Inc, a trampoline manufacturer in San Jose, California, scoffed at the AAP’s recommendations.
He said he invented a safety net that encircles the trampoline and cuts the number of injuries by half. And, he added, if parents ban trampolines, their children might start climbing trees, using swings or skateboards, for instance.
“If you look at all those activities, a safety-enclosed trampoline is safer by hours of use,” Publicover told Reuters Health. “When they say, ‘Don’t use trampolines with a safety enclosure,’ they are going to increase the number of injuries.”
Add a Comment
Image: Kids on trampoline, via Shutterstock
Friday, August 17th, 2012
A San Francisco mother is alleging that United Airlines failed to keep track of her 10-year-old daughter, who was flying to summer camp on her own and was supposed to be tracked by a child-care service offered by the airline. MSNBC.com reports:
Ten-year-old Phoebe was headed for a summer camp in Traverse City, Mich., when she boarded her flight from San Francisco in June. But she failed to make her connection in Chicago because the person hired to help her make the plane change — a United contractor — never showed up.
After getting the call from the camp counselor, Annie Klebahn called United, who insisted her daughter was already in Michigan. “So at that point is when I really knew that they had lost her at some level; they didn’t know where she was,” Klebahn told NBC News. “All the worst possible things go through your mind as a mom when you think you have no idea where your child is and she’s 2,000 miles away.”
Phoebe said a United employee eventually walked her to a waiting room for unaccompanied minors.
“I asked several times to call my mom because I knew she’d be worried because no one really knew where I was,” Phoebe said. “But they kept saying, ‘Hang out a minute, we’re busy.’”
Image: Empty airport waiting room, via Shutterstock
Add a Comment