Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Parental Responsibility At Disney Resorts

Parental Responsibility At Disney Resorts

The Orlando Sentinel and the blog, Doctor Disney reported that a 6 year old little girl fell from the 3rd floor of the Animal Kingdom Lodge Monday, 9/2/13. The father reports he was in the shower when he heard his wife scream. Their daughter had fallen off the balcony and landed on the ground below. She landed in an area that the animals are not allowed into. By the time the father got downstairs and over the wall to his child Disney Cast Members and emergency services were already treating the child. When Cast Members arrived it is reported she was responsive and had a small cut above one eye. The girl was airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center and then treated at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. As of Tuesday evening reports say the girl is stable. The name of the child and her family has not been released.

The exact details of the accident have not been released. How she fell has not been reported. I can only guess that maybe she climbed up on a chair or table to look out at the animals and lost her balance.

My heart and prayers go out to this child and her family as well as all those who responded to this accident and those that are caring for her now. My heart also goes out to all those staying at the resort that may have seen or heard the accident. I hope she fully recovers with no ill effects.

Now let me go back to something I posted in April of this year after another accident on the Disney Fantasy. Parental Responsibility at Disney Resorts. So far this year I have heard of 3 children involved in accidents on Disney property. One young teen drown in a resort pool, a 4 year old boy drown on the Disney Fantasy cruise ship and now this little girl. The teen age boy died, the 4 year old boy has brain damage and this girl’s condition is unknown at this time.

On Tuesday, Disney spokeswoman Kathleen Prihoda said, "Our primary concern is for the child's health and recovery. A Disney representative is with the family providing support."

I just want to remind parents that even though you are on Disney property and Disney is known for safety things can happen. It is ultimately up to you to protect your child. You need to watch your child and gage if they are safe. Disney can’t put bumper guards around each child (as much as I’m sure they wish too.) They can’t keep a child from jumping into the deep end of a pool when they don’t know how to swim. They can’t keep a child from climbing up on something to look over a balcony wall to look at animals where they are at risk of falling. It is the parents that can control those risks.

Please be aware I’m not saying that the parents are at “fault” for these horrible accidents. All I’m saying is watch and protect your child. YOU as the parent know your child is your responsibility no matter how safe you feel on Disney property. You know how likely your child is to climb on something or jump into a pool that is too deep for them to swim in.

Unless Disney closed off the balcony totally they could not prevent someone from climbing up on things and possibly falling. Placing fencing or iron rails in the balcony would be unsightly. Even with lifeguards at every pool people could drown. People say the cost of a Disney Cruise or a stay at a Disney Hotel is high. The cost would be even higher if they had lifeguards all the time. They would have to limit the times people could swim to keep cost down.

You can use a Disney Vacation to teach your child to look at, read and follow rules. You can make it a game. You can make it fun and rewarding for your child. “Follow all posted rules for the pools.” “Don’t go into the pool without an adult.” “Don’t climb on things, especially on the balcony to look over or don’t go out on the balcony without an adult.” “Follow the rules for the rides keeping your hands and feet inside the car and stay seated.” If they follow the rules reward it by allowing them to pick a ride or maybe if they are nearing the age of independence and wishing to ride in a seat by themselves allow it! Show them IF they follow the rules they earn responsibility and your trust. (Just sit in the seat RIGHT behind them where you can intervene if necessary.) Maybe if they sustain good behavior reward it with a much desired treat from the park or hotel shop. You know what works with your child do it!

Here is the link to Doctor Disney’s article:

Update on the 6 year old girls condition: According to News 13 (local Fl channel) the child was released from Arnold Palmer with minor injuries the next day.

To follow the condition of Chase (the 4 year old boy) check out his Facebook page:

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