NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) – The New Haven parks department tightened its policies this week after a 7-year-old was left behind on a snow-tubing trip.

Antonio Canuelas was at the Woodbury Ski Area, about 25 miles from New Haven, during a day camp the city runs to keep kids busy during February break.

Employees who took a head count before they left the ski area Tuesday got confused because another child had gone home sick. So they left without Antonio, who rode downhill and found that everyone was gone.

He went back to the top of the hill, where an adult found him sitting in his snow tube crying and brought him to the ski area office. Employees gave him a hot dog and fries while he waited for someone to claim him.

“He hadn’t eaten. The counselors brought back his lunch box but not him,” said his mother, Amanda Canuelas, who realized he was missing when the bus returned without him. They were reunited about five hours later.

“I would not send my kid back there. They lost my trust,” she said. “He’s still very emotional about it.”

Parks Director Robert Levine held several meetings to determine what happened and formulate new policies.

“This is unacceptable on so many levels,” he said.

From now on, chaperones on city-sponsored trips must conduct a roll call and make eye contact with each child as he or she gets on the bus and again after the doors close. Children will also use the buddy system, which was not in place during the snow-tubing trip.


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