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Age limit increased for unaccompanied minors to access Genesis Place pool

By: Sara Wilson

  |  Posted: Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 06:00 am

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Those wanting to drop off their children to use the pool at Genesis Place will have to keep in mind the new age limits Airdrie City council approved on Feb. 18.

Council unanimously increased the age to access the aquatic centre unaccompanied from seven years of age to eight years of age.

Those swimmers seven or younger will have to be accompanied by a parent or guardian 14 years of age or older.

The increase came after City staff compared entrance ages at Genesis Place with other recreational facilities across the province and found that Airdrie’s entrance age was below the industry standard.

Also changing will be the number of children one parent or guardian can supervise at a time – four children to one parent.

The southern Alberta ratio is one to four, while the national standard for supervision ratios is one parent to three children.

City administration opted to follow the southern Alberta standard rather than the national one, because Airdrie had a higher percentage of young families with three children or more.

“We looked at entrance limits throughout Canada and Alberta as well as the supervision rations,” said Lynn Mackenzie, aquatics team leader at Genesis Place. “If we did not increase to the industry standard it would require additional staff.”

Concerns over regulation of the age limit and the higher supervision rate were discussed by councillors who questioned whether the new supervision ratio was too high for someone 14 years old.

“We plan to shoot for the safest scenario,” Alderman Allen Hunter said. “I’d be more comfortable with a one- to-three ratio.”

Administration and Alderman Candice Kolsen stressed the importance of convenience as well as safety for parents.

“I do have young children so I can speak to this,” Kolson said. “It’s difficult to manage more than two children at a time, but we do have a lot of parents with four children and we should give them a chance to use the pool (with all their children).”

The fare for admission for the pool at Genesis is not affected by the increase in admission age.


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