Mother Of Girl Who Lost Consciousness In Water Ball Speaks Out

By Beth Germano, WBZ-TV

KINGSTON (CBS) — The mother of a five-year-old girl who lost consciousness inside a water amusement at the Independence Mall in Kingston, is speaking out for the first time.

“I never would have let her go if I had any reservation over the safety of the ride,” she tells WBZ-TV while keeping her identity confidential.

The so-called water ball that lets children jump, run and play inside an inflatable plastic ball in a shallow pool, is now being investigated by the state and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

They are popular attractions at malls, and now the state is considering whether they should be regulated.

The little girl, zipped up inside the ball, was seen laying down as soon as she entered.

“I thought she was tired,” said her mother. “I thought she was enjoying the sensation of the water and laid down for a minute.”

It would be several seconds before anyone noticed she had lost consciousness, and an attendant waded in and pulled her out.

“She was lifeless, limp, and blue all over,” she said. The mother, a CPR-trained nurse, went to work on reviving her own daughter.

“I did an unknown number of compressions because I was in a panic. I gave her two breaths and she became pink again,” she said.

The water ball at the Independence Mall has been closed for now until the state decides whether guidelines for inspecting the attraction should be issued.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is also looking into reports of oxygen depletion at other locations. But this mother still doesn’t know what went wrong, and after a battery of tests her daughter is doing fine.

“I don’t think anybody was negligent. It was my choice to put her in the ball. I’m just saying as a mother, my gut is telling me that what happened to her is related to being in the ball,” she said. “I’m just urging other parents to use caution.”

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