Wednesday 29 October 2008

How To Criticise While Appearing Not To….

A two-year-old boy who fell into a temporary pool in a Lincolnshire garden died accidentally, a coroner has ruled.
That may be technically true, but a closer look at the coroner’s comments is needed.
Dylon Booth fell into the play pool in Winthorpe, near Skegness, while being supervised by his mother's friends on 4 July, the Horncastle hearing was told.

He was taken to Nottingham's Queen's Medical Centre where he died five days later in intensive care.
Some ‘supervision’ that was…
After the hearing Dylon's mother, Emma Booth, told reporters her son's death could have been avoided.
Indeed. By her, or by her friends:
She said: "If anybody is thinking of putting up a paddling pool of any type, before it's put it up they must [look at] the safety precautions.

"If they haven't got the money to do it, don't put the pool up. It's not worth the risk.

"And if you do, you must supervise at all times, because I've lost my little boy - and it's an accident that could have been prevented."
Indeed it could, but no matter what advice is issued, it relies on people to take notice of it.

And if they aren’t the type to take notice of it, are they the sort of people you could leave your toddler with? I’d have to say ‘No’…

But it’s the mealy-mouthed statement from the coroner that perturbed me:
Coroner's officer Neil Jones said: "The coroner doesn't want to criticise the family or anybody involved in this case at all, but there are lessons to be learned.

"The manufacturer of this pool did issue a very impressive document that outlined the safety measures that should be taken.

"And the coroner would like to emphasise that those instructions should be followed at all times and may well have prevented this tragedy."
Nice weasel words there – you don’t want to criticise, yet you then point out that safety instructions were issued, and ignored.

By whom, Mr Jones…? Those people you don’t want to criticise, perhaps?

How long before there are calls from the usual suspects for tighter regulation on paddling pools, or a certificated installation scheme?

After all, it’ll be ‘for the chillddreeennnn!’


Simon Fawthrop said...

Are people really so thick they need instructions on safety precautions for a paddling pool? If they are they should be taken off the street as a danger to themselves and the rest of us.

Its not more instructions we need its people to be put in positions as children where they learn to asses risk for themselves. That means back to concrete in play grounds along with the installation of roundabouts and all those other toys that have been removed for starters.

I feel a rant coming on so I'll stop now

Anonymous said...

"I feel a rant coming on so I'll stop now"

Go ahead - sometimes it's the only cathartic option available to us. Well, legally, anyway...