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AIBU

To think parents should watch their children when swimming??

(53 Posts)
NanaandGrampy Wed 17-Aug-16 16:58:29

Took DGS3 aged 4 for our usual swimming afternoon at the gym.

It was a beautiful day so we started off in the outdoor pool. He's a good little swimmer but at the age of 4 I would not let him in the water without being in with him. The pool is surrounded by loungers, each one with a mummy or daddy laying on them.

In the water were a number of small children who could plainly not swim. Although there's a shallow area there's nothing to stop them going deeper. The one lifeguard was watching BOTH this pool and the bigger indoor pool.

Several times I pulled a little girl ( she was 3 she told me) to the side as she struggled to get her head above water.

Inside were a group of 8-10 year olds and one 3/4 year old . No-one was watching the little one .there wasn't a parent in sight.

Am I being unreasonable in expecting parents to keep a closer eye on non swimmers. I felt obliged to do their job. The lifeguard was severely over stretched too. I shall be complaining to the gym about it. Not her fault but just not good enough.

I was brought up by the sea, I have huge respect for the water and know taking your eye off non swimmers, even for a second can be catastrophic !!

Rant over....getting off soap box...it's chilly up here smile

Badenkate Wed 17-Aug-16 17:04:40

I'm amazed the lifeguard didn't insist on parents being in with children under a certain age. The pool would be in a very bad position if anything happened!

grannylyn65 Wed 17-Aug-16 17:14:08

Horrified to read this post, is it worth mentioning to staff ?

ninathenana Wed 17-Aug-16 17:27:21

Our local pool won't let you in if you have sole charge of more than one child under a certain age (not sure what the age is)
I don't understand the mentality of some parents "Oh, there's a lifeguard he/she will be watching them" No they're your children.
If my dad hadn't been at the seas edge with me when I was about four and a wave knocked me off my feet, I wouldn't be here. I still vividly remember him scooping me out of water.

Luckygirl Wed 17-Aug-16 17:44:16

Rules were more stringent years ago - my 3rd DD was a natural swimmer and was diving in and swimming like a fish and enjoying herself in the water by the age of 3. One pool we went to insisted that she must stay down the shallow end because of her age. She got a bit bored as I would not let her dive in there. The lifeguard could see how competent she was and that I was in the water with her, but he was not happy. I knew she was safe, but I can understand his misgivings.

Non-swimmers should always have someone in the water with them - and that includes at swimming classes.

Ana Wed 17-Aug-16 17:47:03

nina, it's the same at my local swimming pool, hard luck for mums of twins or more than one child under 10!

Wheniwasyourage Wed 17-Aug-16 18:04:40

That's awful NanaandGrampy. You should certainly complain. At our local pool it's compulsory to have an adult in with a non-swimming child too; you can have 2 under-8s per adult (wouldn't have helped me when I had 3 of them, but the rules were different then) and even competent swimmers of under 8 must have an adult swimming with them if they go to the deep end.

Surely there have been enough deaths of children in swimming pools (1 is too many, of course) that your pool needs to have a change of rules. Good luck!

nanaK54 Wed 17-Aug-16 18:38:57

Plain scary.
Please do bring this to the attention of the gym management they really need to address this before there is a tragic accident.
What on earth are the parents thinking of 🙁

obieone Wed 17-Aug-16 18:42:44

Report it, and keep on top of it.
If anything happens there, and you didnt say something, you might regret it, even though it is the parents' and gyms' job and not yours.

DaphneBroon Wed 17-Aug-16 18:44:22

Is there not a 1-1 adult -child (1-2) ratio in force?
Any more children sounds like a recipe for disaster.m

Beth61 Wed 17-Aug-16 18:48:45

Not unreasonable at all Nanaandgrampy. Several years ago DH and I were in Spain when a child drowned in our hotel pool. Child was 5 and on his own as his parents had gone to the bar and thought he would be fine as there was a lifeguard but it was a huge pool and very busy. Absolutely dreadful experience. Ever since I have been even more alert near water when we take our DGS swimming but I am always amazed at the casual attitude displayed by some parents especially abroad when they just want to sunbathe while their children are in the water. I agree with others that you should highlight the issue.

SueDonim Wed 17-Aug-16 19:28:18

I never felt able to even blink when mine were in the water. Maybe being raised by the sea has something to do with imy caution, as the OP says.

A child drowned in a private pool in the next compound to ours when we lived abroad, despite there being parents & families all around. It can happen so quickly.

Deedaa Wed 17-Aug-16 20:32:46

I wonder if some of the parents can't swim themselves and have no real experience of water? Things go wrong so quickly. I was never happy to let DD out of sight until she was 11 and swimming in school galas. DS never learnt to swim and always kept well away from any water.

When GS1 was 7 they had a holiday abroad in a villa with a swimming pool and he was sent for private swimming lessons beforehand to make sure he was really competent in the water. (And she still didn't leave him on his own!)

NanaandGrampy Wed 17-Aug-16 20:41:30

I've emailed the manager and have noted the process to escalate my issues if I get no response.

There was no ratio's in force Daphne . Grampy and I only ever take 2 children if we go swimming and our 9 year old is a fish but we never take our eyes off them . I know I could never forgive myself if anything happened.

Hopefully the manager will take my concerns seriously.

TriciaF Wed 17-Aug-16 21:08:41

You're definitely right, N&G. Non swimmers or children under about 6 always need an adult nearby.
I was once swimming on my own at a public outdoor pool, had left DD1, aged about 3, in the care of our baby sitter. She saw me in the deepend, ran and jumped in towards me. She went down to the bottom and up again before I got to her and dragged her out.She had been able to swim before she could walk too.

Anya Wed 17-Aug-16 21:09:05

Sadly this doesn't surprise me. Recently a 5-year old child drowned near us at a campsite. He was in the charge of an older child only.

whitewave Wed 17-Aug-16 21:15:30

Took GS2 to beach today. He is the best swimmer in his year. The sea was rough and the waves relatively high for the Channel. Once I had to grab him as he became out of his depth with a wave and he had difficulty coping with the rough sea.

No I definately would not allow any child swim or paddle without proper supervision. In this case it meant going into the sea with him.

But with proper supervision he had a splendid time diving into the waves and trying to swim and outstrength them.

whitewave Wed 17-Aug-16 21:19:51

GS2 is 12 by the way not a tiny - so it would be even more imperative to supervise a younger child.

Swanny Wed 17-Aug-16 21:32:29

I took my DGS to an indoor pool last week that I hadn't used before. Although the lifeguard was watching the 2 pools on his own, he did not allow anyone in the shallow pool who was not accompanied in the water by an adult.

Incidentally I was surprised there were so few users of both pools, considering the schools are on holiday.

LullyDully Thu 18-Aug-16 08:00:47

They are usually very strict, and rightly so. Glad you have emailed the authorities. You have done the right thing.

silverlining48 Thu 18-Aug-16 10:04:16

we were recently in majorca and watched a father with two small children. no mother around. they were about 5 and 6 both non swimmers. the father lay on the beach, bags and other items obscuring his view of the sea, even had he lifted his head, which he didnt. he drank beer and the children were in the sea up to their necks at times. at one point the small girl came out of the sea to say her brother was in trouble and he lifted his head and gestured for the boy to come in closer. he then lay back down. at that point i walked down to them and tried to engage them in conversation (they were british) both stared but no response. it was 34 degrees they were very pale, but not wearing t shirts and cream was only put on once when they arrived. i couldnt relax and kept watch as others nearby did too. The tutting was almost audible. i knew i or someone should have said something to him, but he had been quite sharp with the children and had been drinking so knew anyone approaching him would get the same, or worse , so i kept a watch on the children until they all left. despite his harsh attitude towards them they constantly sought affection, something i have often seen during my career working with children. I know i should have said something, but he was a big angry man and i am short, not strong and dont run very fast. Its just unusual to see parents behaving like this these days, perhaps 50 years ago it was more common. What would you have done/said? If anything.

Humbertbear Thu 18-Aug-16 10:17:11

When we were in Lanzarotte parents were allowing their children to swim unsupervised in the hotel pool in the dark after dinner. Next year we are booking an adults- only resort. I was more worried about the children than their parents were.

Nain9bach Thu 18-Aug-16 10:56:50

I would be tempted to say in loud voice to little girl - where's your reckless Mummy can you point her out! Then add 'good job I was around to save you'. Then make it an establishment issue!

robbienut Thu 18-Aug-16 11:13:16

There are rules for supervision now (as pointed out by Wheniwasyourage) which are supposed to apply at ALL pools. I can't believe that your pool are so lax :-( Or the parents. I never let my two out of my sight at the pool when they were younger!

TriciaF Thu 18-Aug-16 11:50:37

What age do you think it's safe to allow children to go to the beach or the swimming pool on their own? Assuming they can swim.
I used to go to the beach after school most days in the summer, with some friends, but can't remember what age I was. Still at primary school I think.