City orders changes at Carson Beach to reduce odds of another drowning

As police were determining the death of Kyzr Willis, 7, was a tragic accident, the mayor's office was announcing changes to the way the Curley Community Center in South Boston runs its summer program for kids, when they re-open on Monday.

Staff will be required to conduct headcounts every hour - and when children move through entrances and exits.

The center will be required to have at least two counselors on duty for every 10 kids under 6 and two counselors for every 10 children 7 or older.

Children will be organized into lines before being moved from one activity location to another, with a counselor at the front and back and a third to walk alongside the line.

All children will be required to wear life vests while in the water. Only 10 children will be allowed in the water at one time - and they have to be accompanied by at least two counselors.

The city will install 34 new security cameras at the Curley center by Tuesday.

The headcount procedures, child staff ratio and line supervision procedures will be enforced broadly across all BCYF drop-in programs across the city. All counselors are banned from using phones and other electronic devices during their shifts, unless required in an emergency - or while they're on break.

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Counselor count?

The center will be required to have at least two counselors on duty for every 10 kids under 6 and two counselors for every 10 children 7 or older.

These numbers look a little dodgy.

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Voting is closed. 15

That's the law in Massachusetts

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I worked with an "Out Of School Time School Aged Childcare" program* at the YMCA, and that was the legal requirement for group leaders there as well.

Camps require a separate permit/license from the state board that issues childcare licenses, and camps have separate staffing rules, but if you call it an "Out of School" program, it can be done on the same site license as an afterschool program.

That said, I worked a private day camp in New York years ago and the counselors were required by the Board of Health to take attendance every 15 minutes and before and after each transition. So if swim time was 30 minutes long, the counselors took attendance twice, then once before the kids went into the locker room, once when they got into the locker room, and once after they left the locker room. An hour is excessive.

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Voting is closed. 34

Sounds like overkill.

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Sounds like overkill.

This is good:

All counselors are banned from using phones and other electronic devices during their shifts

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Voting is closed. 15

My thought exactly

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Life vests for all kids swimming, because not knowing how to swim without one with surly make kids safer and independent.

How about, get ready for it.... Swimming lessons!

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Voting is closed. 19

Safety first

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How about all kids 14 and under MUST wear those "swimmers" arm floatation devices. Problem solved, no drownings.

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Voting is closed. 8

Floaties don't protect from anything

Life guards hate them because they are unreliable and useless for prevention of drowning. In fact, I was trained to prohibit their use in the public pools that I worked at. They deflate and they do not turn someone into a proper head up position like a life jacket.

Floating things on the arms prevent kids from learning to swim properly, too, because they prevent use of their arms to perfect propulsion technique and proper floating posture.

Life jackets for the younger kids is the way to go. Over 10 or so they should know how to swim and be allowed to demonstrate their swimming ability in order to take off jackets.

Floaties until fourteen is ridiculous even if they were safe. They aren't designed for bigger kids, solve no problems whatsoever, and can actually cause drownings.

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Voting is closed. 35

Safety first

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Fine, life jackets mandatory for anyone 18 or younger. It's all about safety, we can't have kids drowning in shallow water. Waiting for the lawsuit to be filed.

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Safety First requires KNOWLEDGE

You have clearly demonstrated that you know very little about water safety, and yet you are telling us all what "solutions" and "safety" require.

Mmmmmkay.

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Voting is closed. 26

Safety first

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I recommend safety vests for 18 & under and you aren't happy with that? The city is trying to prevent drownings and the vests would almost end the problem.

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You say 'safety first', so I assume

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@bugs: You say 'safety first', which is a common and useful motto. But on the other hand, I assume you haven't upgraded your car from standard safety belts to a 5 point harness system, have you? Do you wear a helmet in your car? Do your teenage kids or relatives?

I'd guess you probably use a regular seat-belt and go without a helmet. In other words, you take some reasonable precautions, and you meet your objectives (traveling by car) without going crazy with every possible safety measure.

Life vests for everyone under 18 may help achieve maximum safety, but that doesn't make it common sense.

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Voting is closed. 23

You are cold. According to

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You are cold. According to the news this boys brother told staff that he heard his brother yelling help. Something went wrong here and the city is making changes so that it doesn't happen again and this is a good thing. Shallow water? Last time I was at the beach it got pretty damn deep.

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Voting is closed. 18

Most of those

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Arm flotation devices slide right off if the child raises their arms over their head, and the kid falls out the bottom and sinks.

The only exception is the ones that strap across the chest (Costco had a lot of them this year) and are made of fabric. Those are coast guard approved and are helpful in keeping top-heavy toddlers upright in the water.

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Voting is closed. 12

"Floaties"

Swirly, are now made of the styrofoam material that every life vest is made of. You are thinking of the inflatable arm things that are not to be used for life jacket purposes.

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Voting is closed. 10

Still problematic

They slip off and they don't hold a person upright - specifically, they don't hold a person in a position where their head is out of the water and airway clear.

They are also not designed for anybody over 4 or so.

They still restrict arm movement and do not promote the development of skills.

Finally, they are a dumb idea when CG approved life jackets are available at Ocean State Job Lot for $10-20. Kids jackets circulate yearly through yard sales - you can buy a new one, or just trade with your friends and relatives.

I was a licensed and certified swim instructor at one time - my kids never had floaties. They had life jackets if they wanted some independence from me playing with them in open water areas before they could swim well.

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Voting is closed. 15

End the drownings.

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Okay have the city buy those life vests for anyone 21 & under. Problem solved, drownings end. Cut special education budget or something that is already overfunded to pay for it. And Ocean State is a local (RI) company so it's a win/win for everyone.

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Voting is closed. 10

Why are our tax dollars being

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Why are our tax dollars being used to subsidize daycare for these kids. Why does it fall on the city to watch these kids. The parents should be paying for their own daycare. This shouldn't be the city's responsibility.

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Voting is closed. 14

Yes, put them in work camps!

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Work 'em to the bone, I say! Harrumph, fetch me my slipper, knave!

OK, as an actual Boston taxpayer, I am glad the city offers programs like this - we're not all born with a silver spoon in our mouths and I'm all in favor of programs that bring a little happiness to people's lives.

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Voting is closed. 58

I suppose ...

You are also convinced by Trump that the crime rate *must* be soaring, that this is all caused by "urban" kids, and that we need to pay cops full time to lock down entire neighborhoods to "do something about it".

Paying a bunch of teens to watch a bunch of kids is a bargain compared to $100K per year minumum in salary and benefits for people who have to have a lot of training to do their jobs, amirite? That isn't even counting the taxpayer cost of militarized weaponry.

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I am still waiting for a

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I am still waiting for a reasonable answer without all the usual rhetoric.

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Not an ideal world

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We all wish the city didn't have to pick up these costs. We also wish that all employers paid their employees enough to pay for day care. Where would the kids be if not for these programs? Expensive private day care is not the alternative. More like Grandma or Auntie or nobody at all. Maybe the city recognizes that having better outcomes for these kids is a social good worth spending money on.

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