Published: 18:41 EDT, 23 July 2012 | Updated: 18:41 EDT, 23 July 2012>
A Pennsylvania mother and her two children were escorted by police from a local pool after she had refused to remove floatation wings from the arms of her son, Max, who is suffering from cerebral palsy.
Jen Wymer, of Bradfordwoods, Pennsylvania, said she was playing in the water at the North Park pool with her son and daughter when the family was confronted by a lifeguard, who told the mother to remove her son’s water wings citing safety rules.
‘All they would say is rules are rules and rules are rules. No in between,’ Mrs Wymer told WPXI. ‘I went up to the lifeguard and said, 'My son has cerebral palsy. He doesn't walk well and has poor balance. Could he keep the floaties on?’’
All's well: Max Wymer was allowed back in the pool with his floaties after presenting the lifeguards with a doctor's note
At first, the mother followed protocol and took the floatation aides off her son, but after an hour of holding up the boy in the water, she decided to put the blue-and-white wings back on.
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Shortly after, the lifeguards approached Wymer for a second time and told her to remove the water wings. When the mother refused, officials at the North Park facility called police.
‘I put the floaties back on and the lifeguard manager came back and I said, 'I'm sorry, but he's wearing the floaties today,' and he called the police again,’ Wymer said.
Kicked out: Jen Wymer and her two children went to the North Park pool earlier this month, but were escorted out over her use of water wings
Disability: Little Max relies on a walker to get around because his mother, right, says he has difficulty walking and a poor balance
According to the woman, two police officers then escorted her and her two young children out of the pool despite protestations from at least one park-goer.
According to the Allegheny County website, ‘Life preservers (even Coast Guard approved) and water wings are prohibited expect: Specialized floatation devices for disabled patrons only.’
On Monday, Wymer and her son were allowed back at the North Park pool after a doctor wrote the little boy a note recommending that he use the floaties while swimming.
The Allegheny County parks director said water wings are generally banned because they give ‘a false sense of security’ to the swimmer.
Breaking rules: Wymer put the floaties back on her son's arms after holding him up for an hour in the water
Safety regulations: Allegheny County parks officials say the use of water wings is forbidden in public pools because they give a false sense of security to the swimmer
While Wymer has agreed on the premise behind the rules, she said that the lifeguards had mishandled the situation involving a disabled boy who has to rely on a walker to get around.
'They showed no compassion for a child who needs a little extra support,' she said
Experts caution that floaties do not prevent drowning and are not a life-saving device. They recommend a life vest or life jacket for children as a safer alternative.
Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2177975/Young-boy-suffering-cerebral-palsy-KICKED-OUT-public-pool-police-wearing-water-wings.html1094