ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – St. Louis County Executive Sam Page says our child safety laws may need to be changed after the drowning death of a six-year-old at a local summer camp.
FOX 2 has been pushing for answers ever since the July 20 drowning.
T.J. Mister died at the Kennedy Recreation Center in south St. Louis County. He drowned in the Olympic-sized pool during the swimming session of his summer camp.
At Page’s August 24 news briefing he said:
“We’re going to see what we need to do to make sure this doesn’t happen again in St. Louis County,” he said. “It’s a tragedy. We all feel terrible about it and we’re going to learn from it.”
The county executive said that includes looking at what FOX 2 has revealed in its reporting – that summer camps in Missouri are exempt from licensing.
That means summer camps do not have to follow the same safety rules required of daycares, like criminal background checks, proper staffing ratios, and CPR training.
“We’re going to look at that very closely,” he said. “We’re going to understand whether that regulatory environment is appropriate. That’s going to be part of this review.”
Page said the review could impact local or even state law.
“We’ve got a lot to learn from this. We’re very early in the investigation but I can tell you we’re taking it seriously,” he said. “I appreciate the work you are doing. I understand you are deeply committed to this question and there’s a lot of information to be learned from this. We’re going to learn from it.”
Though St. Louis County refused to answer basic questions until now, it had provided us access to a video of the incident, which we’ve reported on.