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AIBU

To think parents should watch their children when swimming??

(54 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

ReidSmith Mon 26-Nov-18 11:53:31

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

Deedaa Tue 23-Aug-16 22:13:03

It's not a swimming pool thing, but I see that a woman has been rescued three times in four days in Cornwall! Each time she was cut off by the tide when walking on the beach. Some people seem to have no idea about water at all.

LullyDully Tue 23-Aug-16 20:40:47

I bet they would get a roasting from their insurance company if they knew how they carry on. Also a visit from health and safety would help. It is not in the pool's interest to have a child drown.

Any school visiting would have to do a risk assessment and not go as a result.

FarNorth Tue 23-Aug-16 19:25:30

Well done N&G.
It's not the club's place to tell people how to parent but it surely is its place to advise them of safety requirements at the pool.
Stay on the case!

obieone Tue 23-Aug-16 11:27:27

Well done.

If nothing actually changes, an official complaint may be in order.
I am beginning to learn that some people will say "we have never received an official complaint from anyone" and so try to justify things when something goes wrong.

NanaandGrampy Tue 23-Aug-16 08:43:45

Just a quick update : I got a phone call from the manager yesterday and he said he took on board all my concerns.

With regard to the one lifeguard supervising both pools, there is a sign which identifies this and that on certain times, it says no lifeguard and he felt it was up to swimmers to note this and be more vigilant when no lifeguard was there.

With regard to the poor supervision although he tried to tell me it was not the clubs place to tell people how to parent ( I did say at that point the first child that is injured will see me all over the national press with my email warning him of the accident waiting to happen!!)BUT he would send out an immediate email reminding parents not to let small children swim unsupervised. That under 14's could not be left in charge of younger children and that it was important to be watchful around water.

Of course he also added that children swim at the parents discretion blah bah blah.

I think I'll see how it goes and I have decided to be a little more outspoken when I find tinies alone in the water without a flotation device or supervision. Its not my nature but I wont have this on my conscience.

It beggars belief to think this is necessary and I do wonder if electronic devices should be banned too so the parents are not so distracted...but maybe that's a fight for another day !!

TriciaF Mon 22-Aug-16 21:51:28

I meant to add something I read at the weekend in a religious book of all places:
One of the duties of a father is to teach his children how to swim.

FarNorth Mon 22-Aug-16 21:26:38

My brother and I, as wannabe swimmers, went to the pool on our own at the ages of 10 & 8.
You are definitely right to be concerned about the lack of attention for small children, OP.

leurMamie Fri 19-Aug-16 21:29:05

Not unreasonable at all, lifeguard or not - of course there is always a lifeguard at British public pools. Some of the worst examples mentioned above are not in Britain. There is criticism of the British attitude to health and safety as being OTT but I think it's great. In many areas of life you just wouldn't get away with doing in Britain what is done overseas - and I don't just mean in "third world" countries.

stillaliveandkicking Fri 19-Aug-16 21:09:46

Gosh their tiny at that age. Good for you OP. 7 up if strong swimmers is ok.

annemac101 Fri 19-Aug-16 17:05:23

I'm on holiday abroad at the moment. There is a large outdoor public pool nearby we pay to use. It has no shallow end and is very deep,no life guards. I'm amazed at mothers who let children with only armbands have free run of the pool. Even young children who can swim are capable of getting into difficulties especially when other children are jumping in in front of them. I always taught my children not to jump in the pool if someone was swimming where there were jumping but I've lost count of the times today a child has nearly landed on top of me.

Theoddbird Thu 18-Aug-16 21:21:31

All children who cannot swim should be wearing inflated armbands to keep them afloat if they stray into deeper water. A complaint about only one lifeguard is a must but I find it so hard to understand why parents were not looking after their children...

Candelle Thu 18-Aug-16 20:05:41

My husband and children were in a swimming pool, where he and I took turns to watch the children whilst the other swam.
I was on a length when I saw some young boys, around 11 or 12, jumping up and down at the side of the pool. I swam by, thinking they were just playing.
Unbeknown to me, one of their number had become unconscious at the bottom of the pool. Despite an ambulance then being summoned it was some time (time enough for us as a family to leave the pool, change and dress) before the ambulance arrived.
I am sad to say that this young lad did not survive.

I don't think these boys had adults with them but at the age of twelve, I went swimming with friends, too. The lifeguard also thought they were 'mucking about', hence a delay in seeing him under the water. So very sad.

I have no idea what the acceptable age is, or should be, to swim without parental supervision. Accidents can and do happen at any age.

NanaandGrampy Thu 18-Aug-16 19:40:43

We used to go the beach when I was a child , I would have been 14, my sister would have been 9 and the twins 4 and I was in charge. My mother didn't see any issue. I could swim well as could the 9 year old and I taught the two little ones to swim.

Of course I was a sensible girl and we're talking 40+ years ago. It's not something my daughters would even think of.

TriciaF Thu 18-Aug-16 19:14:38

Good for you Helmsley - you've drummed into your DGSs how important it is to learn to swim and to be careful around water.

Helmsley444 Thu 18-Aug-16 18:59:44

Soz my phone wont type certain letters thus making me look like i cant spell or text

rubylady Thu 18-Aug-16 18:59:38

DS, on holiday, when he was about 5 years old, first day, wanted to go into the pool. I told him to sit on the side and wait for me. No, he ran round the other side to where I was and jumped straight in. Up and down, flailing around, struggling. I was beyond scared. I threw my glasses to my daughter and fully clothed jumped in. There were people sat at the side of where he was but no one moved. Luckily, extremely luckily, a young 21 year old was sat nearby and dived in and got to him much faster than I did. He pulled him out and saved his life. It could have been so much different. We ended up good friends with the young guy and his new wife, they were on honeymoon, and stayed friends for years afterwards. And DS learned to swim after that.

He has got into so many scrapes though, it's no wonder I'm grey underneath the bright pink!

Helmsley444 Thu 18-Aug-16 18:50:39

My dh and i take our dgs1and2 to swim in a swimming lieusure centre every sat, as we always have them at the weekend.They are 8 and nearly 3 yrs old.My dgs1 wasnt getting any swimming lessons at home. And the years were going by (my two dss could swim at 5) .So i kept speaking to my ds1who is there father abt it.He said they were too busy with there careers 😠.So i offered to pay and take my dgs1 to my own pool ,on the weekend wen i had him anyway.Dg2was only a babe in arms then.He agreed and all went well for the first few weeks.Dg1 loving the lessons, and the swimming.As well as the lessons,i bought a swimming hat and goggles for him, to say nothing of refreshments every week after the lessons Mcdonald and the rest.Then out of the blue my son rsng me up and said there mother who is very difficult anyway.Didnt like in the least my interfering and shed get him the lessons at her own pool , in her own time.And who did i think i was to keep calling the shots abt their child.I told her id spoken to ds1.And wouldnt have done it without his agreement.But she just slammed the phone down on me.Ds1does everything she wants and is ruled by her.His own fault i no.I wad left with a string of lessons id already paid for and iwas and still am medically retired and my pension is a pittance.The pool wouldnt refund the money and its only this last year ,that they started to put him in to lessons, and hes 8 and had to go into a group with little tots and were embarrssed .Because of this she told my ds1 that she didnt want me looking after the children any more and i didnt see my dgs fir 3 mths.Until the pressure of her prious career got to much and her mother was out visiting in australia.The she left me have them agai but she never spoke to me again And at dc2birthday party she ignored me publically.Ds1was a worn a d never stood up to her.So i stopped having anything to do with either of them and never go to there house.Tgey hadnt visuted me i years anyway.Now dh picks up the dgc every sat mor ning And we have them for the weekend.

TriciaF Thu 18-Aug-16 18:48:47

That's shocking,Morgana.
I was going to say, at least if you allow your young child to go into the water put some water wings etc on them, but then found this:
www.parenting.com/article/water-safety-products

Morgana Thu 18-Aug-16 18:12:00

the posts reminded me of an incident a few weeks ago when we went to the local lido, which has a small beach at one end. We sat on a bench, saw Gran and Mum suddenly race towards the water and lift out a lifeless little boy, about 3 i think. He must have been underwater for a few minutes. DH rang for ambulance and went to get help. There was no lifeguard, no Manager, no first aid and in fact no-one seemed to have a clue what to do. The little boy was taken off in the ambulance and hopefully has made a full recovery, but I was upset for days. The wait for the ambulance, although probably only some mins, seemed like an eternity. Just goes to show that you need to have 'eyes in the back of your head' when kids are around water.

TriciaF Thu 18-Aug-16 14:29:31

Thanks Lillie, I was going to say about 8 as well, as long as the child has a bit of common sense too.
I've written before about the amount of freedom I had as a child - Dad away in the war, Mum working and adults too busy to bother with us children, aged 8 to 11 ish.
We must have had guardian angels because we got up to some very dangerous things yet got home in one piece.

f77ms Thu 18-Aug-16 14:19:37

Puts me in mind of a trip to the seaside when my ds was 4 , a little girl about the samw age tagged onto us while we were splashing around in the sea . A wave knocked her over as the sea was quite rough , we managed to pulls her out as her Mum and Dad were playing in the sea with the dog! and didn`t see it happen .

oldgoose Thu 18-Aug-16 14:16:19

I always used to go in the water with my own children and go along with my daughter to take the grandchildren. We were all on holiday recently in Devon and decided to take the children swimming in the pool at our hotel. The lifeguard sat looking at her phone the whole time, glancing up now and again to make sure no-one had drowned ! Just shows you that even the lifeguards don't always do what they are paid to do. Needless to say, a compaint was made to the hotel.

Craftycat Thu 18-Aug-16 14:09:17

I am paranoid about children & water having been pulled out of the sea unconscious at the age of 3 when Grandma - who was left in charge & usually very good at it too- could not catch me when I ran into sea after my parents. Beach shelved very sharply & I was out of my depth within 6' of beach. I can still remember coming round & choking.

As a result my own children & GC learned to swim very early but I was 27 before I managed to learn having been terrified of water in my face- I am still a weak swimmer.

It takes such a short time for a child to get into difficulties. I would certainly tell the staff at the pool & repeat it in writing so it has to be logged & you must get a reply too.
Unfortunately you can't get irresponsible parents to behave correctly & they will be the first to yell 'SUE!!' should anything awful happen to their children.
Beggars belief.

NanaandGrampy Thu 18-Aug-16 12:57:53

That's exactly what happened Lupin I ended up with 3 or 4 little ones who were all 'watch me watch me' whilst their mums sunbathed and played on their phones.

Only one Mum came over to get her daughter back , and lets be fair I could have been anyone.... makes me very sad.