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My son fell into the pool - Page 3

post #41 of 83
My mom has a pool and can't swim, but I still left my little ones with her. She was strict about not letting them outside at all when they were little and when they got a little older, they were swimmers by then. Even when I was there, all non swimmers had to wear water wings. I do have to say, that even being an overprotective parent and now grandparent - my granddaughter fell in my sister's pool when she was two. I was watching her but it can happen quickly. She went under and I snatched her out of the water by her clothing. People are human and even parents can make mistakes. Honestly, I would be heartbroken if my son wouldn't let me watch his kids, because of the fall into the pool. You know your mil better than any of us, so I think you would be the best judge of how to handle this.
post #42 of 83
I vote life jacket. I personally hate pools I see them as death traps but I hate water. I would teach my kids to wear life jackets when around water ie gmas pool and that it is safer and mandatory like a seat belt or helmet. I would also teach my kids to swim (which my kids are enrolled in swimming and it does help my piece of mind).

I am a big believer in extended family and I try to foster the relationship it kinda sucks that some gma's can't see when they can't handle a situation (my mom is a great example she wants the kids but then needs to nap the rest of the day) if everyone learns that they life jackets go on as soon as they go in the backyard (maybe keep them at the door) even when you are there just to get everyone use to it and then you are not saying "well you are no good at watching the kids or whatever"

I would also approach the subject in a very non-confrontational way like "you know I was thinking it might be a good idea if the kids always wear life jackets in the backyard because kids are crazy and you never know what they are going to do"


I also wanted to add I don't think you mother is negligent but I think that watching non swimmers around a pool is a all consuming job even if I was there I would be more comfortable with the life jackets all it takes is a moment.
post #43 of 83
They sell safety nets for pools, to keep toddlers above the water. I would make the backyard strictly off-limits to the toddlers unless 1) such a net or cover is in place or 2) there is one adult for each toddler swimming with them.
post #44 of 83
I am totally paranoid about water and my three kids (and I grew up on a lake and can't remember a time when I couldn't swim). I have just this year gotten to the point where I allow my oldest (7 1/2 and a good swimmer) to go in the 9 foot section of our neighborhood pool and dive. I sometimes allow my 5 1/2 year old to go too, but only if I am directly watching. My 2 year old wears a swimming "device" that is a one piece suit with a built-in tube that inflates. It works really well, and I would recommend checking into it. It's SwimWays. It's similar to this one: http://www.swimways.com/product-detail.asp?pid={F5FD720A-3EBC-4D0A-8CDF-4A07F3FE427E}, except mine is a full bodysuit so there is no chance of slipping out.

Even with that on, I have had to "rescue" him a couple of times. Once when he was spinning in the water and got so dizzy he unbalanced and ended up face forward, and once when the tube got "caught" on a step and he was also face down. Both times I was watching him like a hawk and within a few feet of him, as I always am.

In your situation I would not stop visiting grandma, but I would make a rule (and this is one I stick to myself) that there is absolutely no swimming unless you are there. if that means staying out of the backyard, maybe she could take them to a park instead or play out front or just inside. There is no way she can really watch 4 kids under 8 in the pool, especially with your two being so young. There is too much that could go wrong. It would have been better for her to have told SIL to come back later when your kids had left, or insisted she stay to watch her own kids. JMO.
post #45 of 83
I have 4 kids and we spend a lot of time in and around the water--university swimming pool, ocean beaches, boat, surfing, boogie boarding, swim team and swim lessons--but I am very gald we don't have a background swimming pool. They really are a lot of fun, but risky, too and not worth it with kids my kids ages ( also think they are especially dangerous with teenagers--this is based only on impressions not on any real stats so take this with a grain of salt--who are likely to do allkinds of crazy diving and playing in relatively and shallow places).

That said, I do think it is possible to keep 4 kids safe in the water. The key: teach them to swim very, very well. My youngest can now swim on his own--as in jump off the diving board, swim to a ladder, float on his back, flip himself from front to back and back to front. He's never out of arms reach anyway, but he is a good swimmer for his age.

OPs MIL sounds like she might be a little like my mother--my mother loves children, raised a batch and thinks a day with 4 or more grandkids is a magical one. So I guard against her overextending herself--I have rarely left all my kids with her at her house. She has watched them (bless her brave soul) here many times, but here I know here she won't have drop by visitors, etc. And she will take the older two for an overnight from time to time.

I would certainly continue to give MIL and DCs time together, OP, but I might ask her to come visit at your house. And I'd make sure there were special treats for her so that she comes to enjoy that as much as watching the kids at her house.

I do think SIL was out of line here, and should not have left her kids there. IF they wanted to swim she could have stayed and helped out. I don't think I'd say anything about it, but I would be peeved.

Sorry you had to go through this OP. Again, I recommend Red Cross or YMCA swimming lessons (the red cross program here is far better than the YMCA but that might not be the same in your area). Swimming is such great fun for kids, and sport they can do for a lifetime.
post #46 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by greeny View Post
I would never agree to supervise 4 kids at a pool.
Me too, and I have taken some basic life saving lessons which included dragging a struggling non-swimmer to safety from deep water, basic mouth to mouth and CPR (though I really out of date on those, maybe I should get a refresher course.) Though these skills may one day be necessary, I want to avoid the need for them first. I don't even take just DS swimming all by myself, I only take him to places with active lifeguards. There is just too many things to pay attention to, to believe that one will never take an eye off the toddler.

I would not go the life jacket route. Honesty, I think most water safety flotation devices give a false sense of security. If your DS hadn't been wearing water wings, then your MIL might have used better judgement about letting him near the pool at all.

The fact that there was also a kiddie pool that was for your DSs, actually worries me more. That means that her attention was split between the older kids in the big pool and the younger kids in the little pool. MIL could not have possibly kept an eye on both pools constantly.


Though I do think the lifesaving classes are a good idea, it is only a start. I would also insist on the following:
  • two adults present when the kids are in big pool
  • constant supervision for the kiddie pool
  • a safety fence for the pool (you could offer to slit the cost)

The simple fact that the 2 yo fell in the pool, doesn't seem like a big deal in and of itself. If it had happened when she had another adult present and she knew lifesaving, then I would not think twice about letting her watch him again. Under proper circumstances, he would be rescued swiftly and proper first aid could be administered. However, it happened under circumstances where he was saved by the grace of water wings and was simply lucky. If he had been in distress she wouldn't be able to resuscitate. Since she was alone had it happened more quietly she might not have heard it. Also, since she was alone the other three kids were basically unsupervised while she rescued the 2 yo.
post #47 of 83
I would either have a very candid and serious talk with her or I would never allow her to watch my child again. Just fyi, my son is super comfortable in the water and he literally jumps into the deep end with water wings on and he's 2 1/2. However, one time I let him go on the stairs without his water wings and he jumped off twice into the water and if I hadn't been right there he could have seriously drowned. I was less than two feet from my son and I was talking to another mother and we look over and my son is treading water. It was frightening.

This experience made me realize that a child could drown RIGHT IN FRONT of their parents at a pool party etc if someone isn't actively watching the children. It really freaked me out so I would make sure that she knows this.

GL
post #48 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post

I would not go the life jacket route. Honesty, I think most water safety flotation devices give a false sense of security. If your DS hadn't been wearing water wings, then your MIL might have used better judgement about letting him near the pool at all.

.
Maybe I am wrong but I have always understood life jackets to be safer than water wings. A life jacket will force the wearer on their back where as a water wings merely allows them to float. If my assumption is true I would be comfortable with a life jacket because the child will be floating properly until someone gets them out of the water.
post #49 of 83
I love my mother to pieces. However, I know that she is not able to care for my two toddlers on her own. ESPECIALLY, with my two nephews in tow. I have noticed that the more people who are there, the more she assumes that someone must have their eyes on them. Which turns out to be exactly the opposite of true. Anyway, I always make a point to invite my mom out on afternoons to go somewhere and be sure to ask for a lot of help. Or tell her that I really need to get some cleaning done, would she mind coming over to my house and watch the kids while I am scrubbing the upstairs. This way we are both happy. She gets alone time with the kids and I know I can lend her a hand when they get crazy. I know this sounds patronizing but really, again, I love and respect her, I just know that her baby chasing days are over. So for another year or two this is our MO.

As for the pool, they are so dangerous. It takes seconds. I would just avoid leaving them there alone until after pool season for this year and see what the situation looks like for next year. Maybe swim lessons this fall?

Sorry if this is not at all what you are looking for, it just feels very familiar to me.
post #50 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dukey25 View Post
Maybe I am wrong but I have always understood life jackets to be safer than water wings. A life jacket will force the wearer on their back where as a water wings merely allows them to float. If my assumption is true I would be comfortable with a life jacket because the child will be floating properly until someone gets them out of the water.
Life jackets vary in how well they do this. In my admittedly limited experience with them the more comfortable they are, the less well they flip a person. So, yes they are a great improvement over water wings, but they are not a substitute for proper water safety.

A hot uncomfortable toddler is likely to try to remove it if given the opportunity. A life jacket can only flip a person in some what deep water. Flipping is also chancy, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. If it doesn't fit right, the child might slip out of it. Children who become accustomed to feeling safe in water from wearing flotation aids may start to believe they can swim and jump into water.

I'm a firm believer of wearing life jackets on small water craft, such as rowboats or canoes. However, I never put any on DS when we are swimming.
post #51 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post
Kids fall in all the time. I'd be upset if she weren't outside.. in fact, I'd freak out if she sent him out alone. But, she was out there supervising.
if she hadn't been outside, the child may well have drowned.

drownings are the second leading cause of death for children, following car accidents.

the backyard pool at MILs is trouble if you want my opinion. i would not leave my children there. maybe in the winter when the pool is drained?

to the OP: your children sound very young. but you should make it a priority that they get quality swimming lessons from a very early age. especially considering that they are going to be exposed to the backyard pool at grandma's *and* rambunctious older cousins who aren't careful around them (assuming this behavior extends to the pool, too?)

and watch out for the fact that your child wasn't unnerved by falling into the pool. yes, the water wings helped save him. at two years old, unlikely that he realizes that he will not have the same floating experience without the water wings on.

just too many worrisome things going on there. i'm sorry, but i wouldn't feel comfortable running errands while my kids were out of sight there. just doesn't seem worth the risk.
post #52 of 83
First, I think waterwings are a truly foolish piece of 'equipment' to put on any child. They do instill a sense of fearlessness that can lead to tragedy, and they will not help a child who is in trouble. If you want anything on a child, make sure it's an appropriately fitted PFD.

That said, I am completely unphased by the idea of a backyard pool at the grandparents. My parents are in their mid 60s, and I would be comfortable with them supervising my kids around a pool.

I have been a lifeguard since I was 16, and returned to it yet again this summer, and I find that kids generally do pretty well with clear rules, and no artificial flotation devices to give them a sense of security they shouldn't have. DS was 11 months old when I took him to the pool. His first inclination was to start crawling forward, and he wound up with a wet face (and a much greater respect for the fact that he can't breathe water.) Obiously, with a child who is that young, you are always within arm's reach, but it sounds like the OP's child wasn't left unattended to sink or swim, he had adequate supervision and the child wound up just fine.

I think that, were I in the OP's shoes, I'd provide some good quality life jackets, and have a chat with the SIL about making sure she understood that the younger grandkids need time with the grandparents without the older grandkids around sometimes.
post #53 of 83
Wow, I'm a little stunned! Your saying your MIL has four little ones running free around an open pool with no lifejackets on? Water wings and float suits don't cut it, nor do swim rings, back floaties, pool noodles etc....all give a sense of (false) security to the children and adults. As a former lifeguard and a mom who's lived onboard a boat with three kids I've seen waterwings slide off, float suits not float (not well enough to keep the childs mouth and nose above the choppy pool water, choppy because there's other kids splashing around), pool noodle absorb water and hover beneath the surface, swim rings blow away, back floaties fall off when the child jumps in the water....and that's not even touching the unlifejacketed kids I've seen, or plucked out of pools and oceans. For us lifejackets rank up there with carseats, they work.

Your MIL needs to take a first aid/cpr course, she needs approved, fitting life jackets for every child, does she have a rescue ring or a line to toss? What about here filter cover? Is it the new curved type (that a body won't suction to) or the old style?
I'm glad to hear she pulled out the playpen though, even at your little guy's loss of freedom. At least he was safe : )
Does she get in the water with the kids?
And she needs to either have another adult present, or not take the other children! What happens if someone needs a band aid, a drink, a diaper, a kleenex, a snack, a toy, etc? Her attention would be off of the kids in the pool!
Would she consider a pool fence?

I'd do two things, first I'd speak with MIL and tell her why you specifically picked that day (no other kids there) and if she wants to continue to spend time with your children she'll have to stand up to the sister in law and tell her not to drop her kids off when yours are there.

I'd go along a few times and lay down some unbendable rules like no lifejacket, we go home. Kids will bawk at first if they're not used to a lifevest, but if it's the proper size, they'll get used to it quickly.
My own kids lived in their lifejackets for years, they wore them more than they wore shoes, and the lifejackets have not only saved them on occasion (once DS fell overboard while cruising, and they've all fallen out of the dinghy at least once) but it also gave us the two seconds to deal with another child without the fear that one would fall in and drown.
I'm glad your little guy is ok.
Sorry this got so long, I'm a bit of a freak when it comes to kids and water : )
post #54 of 83
My opinion is that you avoid hurting her feelings and just fix things on your end.

Why don't you put your kids in http://www.infantswim.com/ or a similar program and get them water alarms like this http://www.safetyturtle.com/ that you can bring with you and set up every time your kids visit.
post #55 of 83
I have to say that I wouldn't leave my kids there. Just too risky for my liking.
post #56 of 83
He had water wings on, and she only looked away for a second. He was NOT in danger of drowning -- and what's more, what happened obviously scared her to the point that she went to more extraordinary measures to keep him safe after that. I wouldn't have any doubts about leaving my child with her again.

My son fell in the pool a couple times last year, when he was doing similar things -- filling a bucket, reaching for a toy, etc. Either my mom or I pulled him out -- whichever one of us was watching him -- and no one was worse for the wear. Certainly he was never anywhere near drowning, and he didn't even have water wings on.

It sounds like your children have a loving grandmother who cherishes her time with them and wants to keep them safe. Consider yourself lucky!
post #57 of 83
I keep thinking of this thread. I came to explain why I answered the way I did that I wouldn't leave them there anymore at all. I was watching a 3yo once. All day, we were at the pool and he had his wings on. He had a great time, jumping in the water and swimming around. Then, his mom arrived to get him and I took off his wings so that he could leave. He didn't remember that his wings were off and he jumped right into the water when nobody was looking. His mom turned around and he was under the water, staring at us, silently. She pulled him out and he vomited a few times. It was aweful and scary. So quiet. There were about 6 adults 3 feet away from him and he almost drowned.

Don't take the pool thing lightly. It doesn't mean that grandma can't be with him, but just not at her house until the child can swim. It really isn't worth the risk. I think that many of the people who have posted that it's no big deal, have never seen what we did that day. I always thought that drowning would include splashing and cries for help. Not complete silence!

I even made my husband take out our 3foot by 3foot water fountain pond when we had this last baby. It won't go back in until he's about 4.
post #58 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaoticzenmom View Post
I keep thinking of this thread. I came to explain why I answered the way I did that I wouldn't leave them there anymore at all. I was watching a 3yo once. All day, we were at the pool and he had his wings on. He had a great time, jumping in the water and swimming around. Then, his mom arrived to get him and I took off his wings so that he could leave. He didn't remember that his wings were off and he jumped right into the water when nobody was looking. His mom turned around and he was under the water, staring at us, silently. She pulled him out and he vomited a few times. It was aweful and scary. So quiet. There were about 6 adults 3 feet away from him and he almost drowned.
bold mine

This is exactly why I think water wings are a bad idea.
post #59 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marylizah View Post
I'm going to opt for the "teach your kids to swim ASAP" option.
:

Additionally, everyone who keeps kids should know CPR, regardless if there is a pool around.

I'm sorry. That's very scary.
post #60 of 83
One of the things that really worries me is that the primary caretaker dosent know CPR and has a pool. Those 2 things are a bad combination. Really everyone who has a pool,spa,jacuzzi or is the primary caretaker of a child needs to know CPR. I worked as a pediatric ER nurse and it just breaks my heart how many children came in due to water and no one knew CPR. I remember one child in particular that was at a huge family gathering and literally no one knew CPR, the ambulance got there 10 min. too late Had someone known CPR perhaps that child would be alive. This was a child surrounded by over 20 people.

My sons are not very good at swimming and we recently visited a relatives house that has a pool. Fenced in their backyard but no fence around the pool. We insisted that they wear a life jacket every time they set foot into the backyard regardless plus a adult was ALWAYS out there watching them. A lifejacket dosent replace vigilence but buys you a few moments to react. If she isnt willing to take CPR you can get one of those laminated cheat cheats to place by the pool. We bought ours thru a red cross online store and have them posted in several spots in our house.
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