Toddler drowns at water park, mom claims lifeguards weren’t properly trained

A tragic incident unfolded at Camp Cohen Park, an El Paso city water park, when three-year-old Anthony Leo Malave was found unresponsive in the pool. Despite being rushed to the hospital, the toddler succumbed to his injuries the following day. Now, Jessica Weaver, the mother of the young boy, is urging the city to take action and improve their safety measures to prevent such heartrending incidents from recurring.

Weaver voiced her concern that the city, despite conducting a soft launch of the park, had not adequately prepared for potential emergencies like her son’s drowning.

Reflecting on the response to the incident, Weaver described it as a “slow train wreck”. She detailed that although the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) reached the scene within five minutes of being called, the response within the park was inadequate. In her view, the park’s workers struggled with equipment and lacked effective procedures for resuscitation.

Weaver stressed that the unfolding chaos and panic suggested a lack of proper training among the lifeguards present. She didn’t fault the lifeguards themselves, understanding their youth and inexperience, but expressed her expectation for more experienced supervision and a faster response.

The loss of her son has prompted Weaver to share her story publicly in the hope of prompting change. She believes that the city should critically examine the incident and implement necessary changes to ensure the safety of other children in the future.

When asked about the standard requirement of lifeguards at the city’s swimming pools and water parks, a city spokesperson declined to comment. They cited an ongoing investigation into the drowning.