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Old 09-04-2013, 09:29 AM   #46
luvmy3
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Originally Posted by kellylfitz View Post
Yeah, but nobody on this board was there. No question the parents could have been negligent, but it doesn't mean that they were. Short of handcuffing your kids to your wrist, you can't control every move they make all the time. Turn your back for 10 seconds and a tragic accident can happen. 99.999999% of the time it doesn't, but I personally don't feel right passing blame on the parents without knowing the whole story. There is a chance that they simply lost track of the kid for 5 or 10 seconds (even if they were on the balcony with them) and a tragic accident happened. It could happen to anyone. Not saying that is what happened here, but since I wasn't there, I won't take it upon myself to judge them.
While that is all true, a parent is responsible for keeping their 6 year old child safe. If you are going to allow your child unsupervised access to a balcony then its your job as a parent to make sure they can't "just fall off" it. How hard is it to look at the furniture on the balcony and say to yourself "that doesn't look safe if little Johnny is out here by himself". I don't claim to be perfect but even at our stay at the Beach Club on the 5th floor last week I had that thought. My kids are much older so they know not to climb on tables but it still didn't stop the parent in me from thinking how easy it could be for one of them to fall over the railing
And while it could happen to anyone, it doesn't change the fact that someone would still be at fault.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:30 AM   #47
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I'm religious but not overly so and all I can say is that after staying at the AKL on the 3rd floor myself, a higher power was definitely watching over this child. It's a miracle her injuries were not more severe or even fatal.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:37 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by luvmy3 View Post
While that is all true, a parent is responsible for keeping their 6 year old child safe. If you are going to allow your child unsupervised access to a balcony then its your job as a parent to make sure they can't "just fall off" it. How hard is it to look at the furniture on the balcony and say to yourself "that doesn't look safe if little Johnny is out here by himself". I don't claim to be perfect but even at our stay at the Beach Club on the 5th floor last week I had that thought. My kids are much older so they know not to climb on tables but it still didn't stop the parent in me from thinking how easy it could be for one of them to fall over the railing
And while it could happen to anyone, it doesn't change the fact that someone would still be at fault.
But you don't know that Johnny was out there all by himself since you weren't there. I think we are just going to have to agree to disagree. All I'm saying is that even if you are sitting right next to your kid on the balcony and for god knows whatever reason, he decides to hop on the table and jump off (all in the span of a few seconds), it isn't "your fault". Not every accident requires blame to be placed. A kid can yank his hand from his moms and dart into an oncoming car. Who's fault is it? It isn't anyone's fault, it is just a tragic accident that nobody wants to have happen. Again, not saying that the parents did everything they could in this situation, but since neither of us were there, we shouldn't say that they were negligent.

As an add on, I'm deathly afraid of heights so I live in dire fear of this happening. When we have a room without a secure, difficult to access, balcony lock, I go so far as to drag heavy piece of furniture up against the door to block access. I sometimes feel crazy for doing it, but this situation affirms that it can happen.

Last edited by kellylfitz; 09-04-2013 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:37 AM   #49
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Accidents happen. Also there are styles of parenting (more lax vs more strict) that might enable an accident to happen.

I'm inclined to think that since the mom was close enough to grab for the girl as she went over, that the mom became aware of the danger at the last moment. Either she didn't realize the girl had climbed up on the table or she didn't realize what that could lead to. Thank goodness the girl is ok.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:42 AM   #50
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When I drink I find its easier to watch my children because I see all 3 of them double, so all 6 of them of them take all my attention
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kellylfitz View Post
But you don't know that Johnny was out there all by himself since you weren't there. I think we are just going to have to agree to disagree. All I'm saying is that even if you are sitting right next to your kid on the balcony and for god knows whatever reason, he decides to hop on the table and jump off (all in the span of a few seconds), it isn't "your fault". Not every accident requires blame to be placed. A kid can yank his hand from his moms and dart into an oncoming car. Who's fault is it? It isn't anyone's fault, it is just a tragic accident that nobody wants to have happen. Again, not saying that the parents did everything they could in this situation, but since neither of us were there, we shouldn't say that they were negligent.
We will have to agree to disagree. Accidents like this don't just happen, they are the result of someone's negligence (not speaking in the legal sense, just the responsibility sense). Any accident that isn't the result of an act of God, is.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:53 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by kellylfitz View Post
Not every accident requires blame to be placed. A kid can yank his hand from his moms and dart into an oncoming car. Who's fault is it? It isn't anyone's fault, it is just a tragic accident that nobody wants to have happen.
Exactly. Sometimes accidents are nobody's fault. Your example resonates with me because a few years ago one of my sons (about age 4 then) suddenly jerked loose from my hand while we were crossing a busy street, and ran back towards the sidewalk. There was a car turning right behind us and luckily the driver was paying attention (in the dark! in the rain!) because he slammed on the brakes and didn't hit my son. That was the most frightening moment of my life and I don't think I could possibly have predicted it or done anything differently. I was right there, holding his hand. He'd never done it before. It happened very quickly.

Kids are impulsive and their brains don't process consequences like those of adults. They are unpredictable. Accidents happen. Acting like you can 100% keep it from happening to you is just asking for a karmic smack down.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:59 AM   #52
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When I drink I find its easier to watch my children because I see all 3 of them double, so all 6 of them of them take all my attention
 
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Originally Posted by Love Tink View Post
Exactly. Sometimes accidents are nobody's fault. Your example resonates with me because a few years ago one of my sons (about age 4 then) suddenly jerked loose from my hand while we were crossing a busy street, and ran back towards the sidewalk. There was a car turning right behind us and luckily the driver was paying attention (in the dark! in the rain!) because he slammed on the brakes and didn't hit my son. That was the most frightening moment of my life and I don't think I could possibly have predicted it or done anything differently. I was right there, holding his hand. He'd never done it before. It happened very quickly.

Kids are impulsive and their brains don't process consequences like those of adults. They are unpredictable. Accidents happen. Acting like you can 100% keep it from happening to you is just asking for a karmic smack down.
Just to be clear, stating the fact that someone is at fault when an accident happens does not equate to acting like you can 100% keep it from happening.
Personally, I know anything can happen, but I also know that if it does, and its when I'm with my child it will most likely be my fault it did.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:33 AM   #53
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Kids are impulsive and their brains don't process consequences like those of adults. They are unpredictable. Accidents happen. Acting like you can 100% keep it from happening to you is just asking for a karmic smack down.
Yep. The other thing is, people on vacation (especially a WDW vacation!) are often distracted and tired and in a completely different environment that can encourage children, especially, to act unexpectedly. A child who had never been in the habit of climbing before might decide they needed to get up on a table to get a better look at the animals. A parent who normally kept a close eye on their child might be trying to figure out bus schedules or otherwise wrestling with an unfamiliar situation and not realize that the child is heading out onto the balcony.

I also know, from my own crew, that it's dead easy to keep an eye on some kids, and a real bear to do the same with others. The parents of the ones who're normally easy to keep track of can get a little slack, because it's hard to keep that level of alertness up when there seems to be no need, while the parents of the ones who're tough to track sometimes succumb to sheer exhaustion! The parent of the first kind of kid would not expect the child to climb; the parent of the second kind would be even more stressed and tired by the vacation.

Every parent has moments of inattention and every child does stupid things. Most of the time these don't coincide or the child's stupid thing is low risk and there's no problem. When things do go wrong, that doesn't necessarily mean the parent is "a bad parent", it means parents are human and humans are far from perfect.

Not to say there aren't negligent parents. Just that even the most conscientious parent screws up sometimes, usually without any negative consequences. It's the overall parenting that matters; all we have here is a tiny snapshot of a family outside their daily routines.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:53 AM   #54
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This is the first time I have read of a person falling from a Disney resort balcony which is surprising given the large numbers of people who visit WDW.

It is amazing that the child was not seriously hurt or killed. The ground under the rooms we have stayed at is certainly not landscaped. Sounds like the child landed in some sand which maybe have dampened the fall to some extent.

I too think the locks are high on the sliding class door at AKL/AKV. My observation is that every time we check into an AKL/AKV room, the balcony is set up with the table between two chairs and all three are away from the railing. It drives me nuts, because our kids will DRAG the chairs closer to the railing to get a better view. The DRAGGING reverberates throughout the room and I can hear other guests DRAGGING the balcony furniture.

I wonder if the mother heard the table move, saw the kid standing on the table and then went after the child but was too late. A six year old should know better than to lean over a railing. Our kids were allowed to stay on the AKL/AKV balcony around that age and we have seen plenty of other kids at that age by themselves on the balcony.

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Old 09-04-2013, 11:13 AM   #55
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We were staying at WL a few years ago, and the child on the opposite balcony went out and climbed to stand on a chair. The mom took the child off immediately, and then took the balcony furniture and put it inside the room! I thought that was very smart at the time. Although balconies are great, if you have a "climber" you might be better off without one.

I hope the child has a full recovery.
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:18 AM   #56
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I just got chills reading this. We are at WDW world now and were staying at Jambo house Monday evening. We pulled up to the entrance around 8pm to let my mom out and were wondering why there were about 4 sheriff cars parked out front. Now we know. My mom was thi king shoplifter, but I said they dont send that man for that.

We also had our kids with, same age as this child scary. It only takes a second for things to go wrong, good or bad parent. No one has their eyes on their kids for every second.
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:28 AM   #57
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That is very frightening for the child and parents. Thankfully the child is OK. We were just at the Contemporary on the 12th floor. Talk about high. There is a balcony inside the hall looking into the atrium of the resort and then the balcony facing the MK. Even though the view is great, it is a little uncomfortable realizing how high up you are.
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:16 PM   #58
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We were staying at WL a few years ago, and the child on the opposite balcony went out and climbed to stand on a chair. The mom took the child off immediately, and then took the balcony furniture and put it inside the room! I thought that was very smart at the time. Although balconies are great, if you have a "climber" you might be better off without one.

I hope the child has a full recovery.
Yep, always a good idea to pull the furniture in. First thing I do in a hotel. I remember when we bought a new house, it had a balcony area sort of over the foyer and I put a little bench there for decoration and me and my husband just looked at each other, like, uh, not a good idea. As someone said, it's hard when you are in a new environment to see all of the possible dangers.
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:20 PM   #59
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It doesn't make it better, but neither does saying the parents have no fault at all. Saying there is not fault is saying it can't be prevented. Which is not true.

Hopefully some good can come out of something like this happening--maybe a few parents will check the lock on the balcony door when they enter their room, maybe they will be more vigilant in watching their little ones. Maybe some will even decide to forgo a balcony until their kids are older.
I agree with this. Something can be a parent's fault and still be an accident (not intended).
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Old 09-04-2013, 01:17 PM   #60
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I think it's easy to take a "that would never happen to ME!" attitude but it only takes a second of inattention for something to go seriously wrong. You may believe that you are immune to it be because you have done everything right ... So far. But you are wrong. It can really happen to anyone. Cut the parents some slack. A terrible accident happened to their daughter. Thank goodness she appears to be OK!
What a nightmare for the parents! I agree that it can happen in a split second. I took my 13 month old DS to AKV a few years ago. When we got there, I took him out on the balconey and sat down in a chair whiler I watched him walked around. I was literally staring right at him when he started sqeezing himself through a set of poles. It took my brain a second to register what was happening, then I jumped up and grabbed him. It was so scary to think of how quickly something bad could have happened.

I only have compassion for parents in these situations.
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