BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Palm Beach County’s Coconut Cove Waterpark in West Boca is an incredible example of government working well. The facility is gorgeous and well maintained. It rivals commercial waterparks when it comes to fun and functionality. Palm Beach County Lifeguards are no joke. There is a huge staff of highly trained professionals watching kids as they splash around.
But sadly, in many cases, parents aren’t.
On two recent visits to Coconut Cove, BocaNewsNow.com observed two very distinct types of parents. The first group is comprised of parents who are playing with their children, watching what they do and keeping them out of harm’s way.
The second group is comprised of parents who are there to graze. Parents who have no interest in monitoring their kids — mostly 2 to 6 years old — and believe it’s okay for them to climb up a waterslide on the slide itself. These are the parents who think it’s amusing when a lifeguard singles them out when another child — going the right way on the slide — crashes into them. These are the oblivious parents — and by parents, we primarily mean moms — who think anytime is chatting time instead of playing with their children time. These are the parents who congregate in groups — sitting in the water — gossiping instead of practicing basic water safety.
Overheard Friday morning: “(Johnny) did nothing wrong. He’s two. He doesn’t know better.”
That’s correct. “Johnny” doesn’t know better, which is why Johnny’s mommy should stop talking about a sale at Saks and start monitoring her kid.
Also overheard Friday morning between two Grazers: “They’re fine. There are lifeguards.”
Unless Palm Beach County enacted an ordinance that we are unaware of, lifeguards are there to keep things under control and as first responders to keep people alive. They are not there to parent.
That’s what parents are supposed to do.
But sadly, when parents would rather graze than parent, lifeguards are put in an awkward position of enforcing water safety while also encouraging common sense.
BocaNewsNow.com strongly supports a policy giving Palm Beach County Lifeguards the authority to warn parents once, then kick them out of facilities like Coconut Cove Water Park. We also support video surveillance being provided to Florida’s Department of Children and Families.
These self-absorbed Amazing Grazers are a liability to other parents, children, and Palm Beach County itself. These are the parents who let their toddlers play on their own in two feet of water, then will threaten to sue when something almost happens.
Spend time at Palm Beach County’s great Coconut Cove Waterpark and you’ll quickly see that the danger isn’t the water.
It’s parental apathy.