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Children and swimming pools

(29 Posts)
absentgrana Wed 25-Jul-12 14:36:36

Yesterday I was happily swimming lengths of the pool in the health club that I have recently joined. A young woman in a glamorous cosi and her 2 children – girls, aged about 5 and 7 – arrived. The children could both swim and were happily playing in the water while mum sat on a chair texting. (They were in the pool area for at least an hour.) She looked up every now and again and occasionally told the children not to jump splashily into the water where other people were swimming. On three separate occasions, she left the pool with one or both children still in it (there is no lifeguard) for 5–10 minutes. The children were something of a nuisance to those of us trying to swim lengths and the smaller one decided to climb over my shoulders to reach the steps on one occasion. They also ran in and out of the steam room umpteen times. Apart from the fact that constantly opening the door lowers the temperature, it is not safe for children under 8 and older children should be supervised.

I was shocked that the mother left such young children on their own in the pool, even though they were both quite good swimmers and clearly confident in the water. I was also shocked that she let the girls' high spirits cause something of a nuisance to other swimmers. The girls themselves were charming and not at all rude, just extra lively and not properly under control.

Nonu Wed 25-Jul-12 14:47:26

At the health club we belong to children are not allowed in before 4pm. They also have to supervised at all times . Children are children and don"t really mean any particular harm but can just get carried away . Still it should not impinge on the enjoyment of others . lets face it these places cost a bit more than public baths [sunshine smile]

absentgrana Wed 25-Jul-12 18:15:13

It was a wee bit tiresome, but that wasn't really a big concern. It was the mum texting endlessly and wandering away for 10 minutes at a time, leaving littles alone unsupervised in the water that seemed wrong to me.

Anagram Wed 25-Jul-12 18:24:25

At our local swimming baths (I know it's not the same!) two children wouldn't have been allowed in the pool unless accompanied by two adults. Which is a bit of a nuisance for DD as with twins she has to rope someone else to come with them, which isn't always possible.

absentgrana Wed 25-Jul-12 18:29:42

Just what age is the right age for children to be allowed in the pool unaccompanied by an adult? Also, let us remember, there is no lifeguard in this particular place. I remain quite disturbed although I am usually in the place where I will say, "Leave it out. Let individuals decide".

Nonu Wed 25-Jul-12 18:36:22

Maybe it"s wortha mention to staff , if anything happened to those children the club would be in big trouble , with todays blame culture

JessM Wed 25-Jul-12 18:57:58

I agree. Lifeguards are there to keep order and make sure everyone behaves in a safe way in a pool. ... oh I have just noticed - no lifeguards - is that even legal?

Anagram Wed 25-Jul-12 19:04:48

Got this from HSE:

'Given the wide range of pool facilities and the ways pools are used, it is not possible to make specific recommendations for lifeguard numbers. Pool operators need to consider how many lifeguards are required or whether constant poolside supervision is required. This is done through a risk assessment, and aided by the guidelines set down in HSE’s Managing health and safety in swimming pools.

A risk assessment may find that constant supervision is not required. In these circumstances, a member of staff will need to be ‘on call’ and able to respond immediately to emergencies whenever the pool is in use. It is essential that these staff are trained in pool rescue, CPR techniques and first aid.'

So it seems as though it's up to the club owner/s.

tanith Wed 25-Jul-12 19:06:49

I would certainly mention it to the staff, its a big no no that children are left without an attendant adult in our health club , children are only allowed in at certain times, I always made sure I wasn't there at the times they were allowed nothing worse than trying to swim lengths with children leaping about..
I love to take my granddaughter for fun in the pool but never when I want to do lengths then I go alone..

vampirequeen Wed 25-Jul-12 19:13:35

The mother is ultimately responsible for the safety of her children. I don't mind the children being in the water on their own as long as she was close by and keeping watch. I have to admit that's how I took my daughters swimming because I'm scared of pools although I could have jumped in and saved them if I'd had to.

I'm more bothered about her leaving the swimming pool. Although they were good swimmers they still need supervising. Other swimmers were not there to act as unpaid babysitters. Also they should have been checked when they annoyed any adult swimmer.

I would point out to the club that length swimmers are their bread and butter swimmers and although they may see more children in the holidays they won't see them every day/week like they do you.

gracesmum Wed 25-Jul-12 19:36:05

Where the GC swim, the ration of adults to children is 1 to 1 in the water as they are tinies- makes it hard for DD unless SIL is with her but their safety is paramount. And I am assuming there are lifeguards too.

Anagram Wed 25-Jul-12 20:09:14

Same here (as I said previously)
Victoria Meldrew moment again!

goldengirl Thu 26-Jul-12 07:51:13

There is certainly a ratio in our local pool - and a high one, I believe, because my son can't take his 3 children swimming without another adult. It's totally unacceptable for a carer - mother or whoever - to leave children unsupervised. She obviously didn't think of the needs of other users and of course that will play out on the children. My daughter is very good with her two I must say. She has certain rules which have become second nature. They learned early on that if they disobeyed that was the end of that activity for the day. I've taken them swimming and was proud of their 'natural' behaviour.

Bags Thu 26-Jul-12 09:07:10

Just read your OP, absent. Shocked the same as you about the mother but I'm most shocked about there being no life guard. I thought all swimming pools apart from private family ones had to have a life guard. What if someone has a fot or heart attack while in the water?

Bags Thu 26-Jul-12 09:07:38

Sorry, fit not fot.

Bags Thu 26-Jul-12 09:09:25

At our public pool, all children under eight must be accompanied by an adult (not sure of the ratio), but, in addition, there are always at least two life guards.

absentgrana Thu 26-Jul-12 10:52:59

Bags I'm pretty sure that there is at least one person qualified as a lifeguard on the premises and the pool area is surrounded by glass walls. The staff member in charge of the health club is located just beside the glass door into the pool area. The pool itself is not particularly deep – I can stand at both ends (not simultaneously) but a child would probably not be able to stand at the deep end.

goldengirl Thu 26-Jul-12 12:03:41

I visited a pool recently and there was a sign saying no lifeguard present! What they would do if there was an accident is anyone's guess. There were other people swimming most of the time but for a little while I was on my own and seriously thought about getting out - and I'd only just been in a short while. In my view there's cutting staff and cutting staff - safety should never be taken for granted. [And now lollipop ladies/gents are under threat once again - but that's not for this thread, hence the brackets smile]

FlicketyB Thu 26-Jul-12 12:28:37

Yes, most swimming pools expect children under 8 to be accompanied in the water by a responsible adult - and that is with life guards.

I would call the mothers behaviour grossly irresponsible.

Andy8100 Sat 22-Sep-12 18:20:55

Message deleted by Gransnet.

Ana Sat 22-Sep-12 18:34:32


Hectorblack Mon 13-Jan-14 10:45:21

There should be less deep separate swimming pools for children because the child care is first. I think this is the best solution and can decrease the risk for any accident.

Soutra Mon 13-Jan-14 16:30:03

Just wondering why Hector Black hit on this particular thread? Maybe we need to be more careful with thread titles?

Hectorblack Tue 21-Jan-14 08:49:42

Message deleted by Gransnet for breaking our forum guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

kittylester Tue 21-Jan-14 09:12:07

Dear! angry apart from anything else!