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Policy on Use of Aquatic Facilities by Minors (PR 20.01.07)


FAIRBANKS NORTH STAR BOROUGH
DEPARTMENT OF PARKS & RECREATION

Purpose:  The purpose of this Policy is to provide guidelines and procedures for insuring safety and decorum in public aquatic facilities.  Because it pertains to interaction with children and youth in the facilities, its’ application requires a temperament and level of mature judgement that takes into account the age and behavior of the child, as well as extenuating circumstances.  It is not intended to be a hard fast set of rules that can, or should, be applied to every child or every situation.  Staff is expected to exercise judgement and discretion in dealing with these types of situations; always balancing and bearing in mind that safety of the public and orderly conduct are the principle objectives of this policy.  Consequently, while it should be applied with consistency, it is not intended to establish a “carding” or “ID check” system that results in an intransigent and unreasonable denial of facility use.

 

    1. Unattended Children
      1. Fairbanks North Star Borough pools do not have legal responsibility to act in loco parentis.
      2. Parents may not leave children under 9 years of age unattended at the facility.  Children 6 years of age and younger must be accompanied by a person 16 years of age or older while in the pool.  Staff shall not care for infants, even for a minute or two.
      3. Children under 9 years of age must be accompanied by a person 16 years old or older.
      4. If it is determined that a child is lost or left unattended, a staff member should follow the procedures listed below. Children left unattended are often frightened and crying.  Staff shall make every effort to comfort and assure a lost or unattended child.
      5. The staff should attempt to locate a parent or a responsible adult.
        1. Walk around the pool with the child and try to locate the parent.
        2. If the parent is not found in the building, stay with the child until       the parent can be located.  If the parent has not been located after an hour, or if the pool has closed, call the Aquatics Program Manager, or the Parks and Recreation Director who will notify the authorities.
      6. Under no circumstances shall a staff member take the child out of the building or attempt to transport them home.

  1. Disruptive Behavior
    1. Parents are responsible for their children’s behavior in the pool.
    2. Children who are being disruptive will be asked to behave appropriately.
    3. If the disruptive behavior continues after the first and second warnings, a staff member should inform the parents that their child is disturbing others and request that they control the situation. If a parent can not be located, proceed as outlined in number 1E2 above.
    4. If the parents refuse, or are unable to control the child, the family may be asked to leave.  Staff will consult the Facility Supervisor or Lead Guard prior to initiating such action.  Expulsion will be done only as a last resort after all other reasonable efforts to remedy the situation have failed.  Under no circumstances will this be termed a banishment or permanent denial of facility privileges.  Such action will only be taken by the Director of Parks and Recreation or the Mayor in consultation with the Borough Attorney.
    5. Older disruptive children (twelve or over) may be asked to leave after receiving appropriate warnings and a copy of the pool rules. Staff should follow through to ensure that the child does leave the building.  Depending on circumstances such as weather, darkness and severity of the situation, rather than ejection, a disruptive child over twelve may be given a copy of the pool rules, and be instructed to sit for the remainder of  his/her visit in the bleachers/lobby in view of the lifeguards.
    6. If a minor is consistently disruptive, an appointment should be made with the child and the Facility Supervisor or the Aquatics Program Manager. If neither is available, the staff member should secure the child’s name and telephone number and give a complete and detailed account of the incident or incidents involving this child to the Facility Supervisor.