- At Home
A child in Pittsburgh with cerebral palsy was escorted out of a local swimming pool by police for wearing a pair of floaties.
Jen Wymer was playing in the pool with her son Max when a lifeguard instructed her to remove the boy’s water wings, citing pool rules.
Wymer told WPXI that she notified the lifeguard “my son has cerebral palsy. He doesn't walk well and has poor balance,” and asked “could he keep the floaties on?’’ but the lifeguard would not let her. Wymer removed them at first, but after an hour of holding her son afloat, replaced them.
Shortly after, she was approached by lifeguards again, but this time, she refused to remove the floaties. The lifeguards responded by calling the police. Two officers then escorted Wymer and her two children off the premises.
The Allegheny County website says, "Life preservers (even Coast Guard approved) and waterwings ARE PROHIBITED EXCEPT: Specialized floatation devices for disabled patrons only." According to the Allegheny County Parks Director, the floaties are banned because they promote a false sense of security in the water.
It’s not clear whether or not a patron must provide proof of a medical condition in order to be exempt from the rule, but cerebral palsy certainly qualifies as a disability (and honestly, symptoms of the cerebral palsy are generally visibly obvious, even to someone who might not know much about the disorder).
On Monday, Wymer’s son was allowed back in the pool with the floaties after she gave lifeguards a doctor’s note suggesting that he be allowed to use them.
Rules are rules, but it seems that the lifeguards of the North Park pool took pretty extreme measures in calling the police to defuse the floatie-situation.
What do you think - were their actions warranted? If that happened to you, what would you have done?