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6yr old Drowned at our Gym pool... - Page 2

post #21 of 105
Wow, that is amazing! I would defintely contact the press and tell your story, but ask to be anonymous (they hide your identity) so no one from the gym can say you're doing it for attention. And I would ask the press to focus on the lack of safety and training and lack of response form corporate. I think bad public press often forces places like this to stop being so complacent and actually do something.
post #22 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by MandyB View Post
This is exactly what I feel like I need to do. Just checking I guess to make sure I'm NOT crazy to want to do so!
No way! Not crazy at all!
post #23 of 105
reading your last posts, I would DEFINATELY talk to the Mom; she may be glad that SOMEONE is acknowledging it. She may need to talk to someone who was there... get closure herself.
post #24 of 105
Holy crap, Mandy! You are amazing, and I'm so glad you were there to save his life!! I can't even imagine. Thanks for sharing this, and I am really happy the boy is recovering so well. Sooo scary. I hope you aren't traumatized by this forever - but can find some peace since you played such a big role in the child's survival.

I saw two kids slip under the water for a matter of seconds last weekend but luckily the life guards blew their whistles and jumped in right away to pull them out and call attention to the parents. I am nervous enough with lifeguards on duty - so I can't imagine why the dad wasn't watching his kid better.

Anyhow, wow. .
post #25 of 105
Wow! I'm absolutely shocked that they are playing it down so much. Big kudos to you, I'm glad that you and a few others were there to intervene when no one else would.

I'm beyond mad hearing this, do not let them sweep this under the rug. I work for a local YMCA and last May I went through lifegaurd training to help out in our pool. We have a very small YMCA and even our rules for these types of things are very strict. First of all a lifegaurd is ALWAYS on duty. If there is no lifegaurd the pool is closed, period. Doesn't matter if its only adults. No lifegaurd = no swimming. We had to wear lifegaurd uniforms identifying who we were too. If kids were in the pool we HAD to stand up at the edge of the pool to ensure we could see every bit of it down to the bottom. There are 2 alarm buzzers and if there is an emergency we hit the alarm and jump in. The alarm sent the front desk people running into the pool area and clearing everyone and were calling 911. 90% of the staff are trained in CPR too. I stopped lifegaurding in January because of a busy schedule but pools still = serious business to me. Especially after the training.

I coordinate a day-camp program there and the kids swim 2x a day. We have 3 trained lifegaurds on our staff as counselors (not including me), one is always on duty to gaurd along side the regular lifegaurds. It's just THAT important!

My point is, they are taking this waaaay too lightly. They need to have a clear emergency plan in place and policies written on how to handle this. Not to mention better training all around! They should have a lifegaurd, no reason not too unless they are just being cheap. I normally don't say go run to the press, but since they wont take it seriously I'd pass the story along to the news and pitch it as a safety investigation. Maybe if they are getting publically questioned about what the safety proceedures are and why they don't have lifegaurds they may change. No one wants to give bad publicity, but if it saves a child somewhere down the line it would be totally worth it!
post #26 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by MandyB View Post
He told me they have no lifeguards on PURPOSE because then people by law would be allowed to leave their kids at the pool and go work out, and they don't want them doing that. I'm in CA...anyone know if this is true?
That just doesn't sound true at all. I'm not a lawyer and I live in NJ, but it really really sounds ridiculous. How could a law possibly force an unwilling adult or institution to take responsibility for any child simply b/c they are trained lifeguards. If that were true I could just stop by your house and drop DS off b/c your a trained lifeguard and you couldn't ask me to stay and supervise him.

What I suspect is the case, is they have untrained deck supervisors b/c they look like lifeguards but are much cheaper. Of course they post the signs for liability reasons, but most people would not realize there were no lifeguards. If I saw that sign, but saw what looked like lifeguards I would think that the sign was just left up at all times b/c there were no lifeguards sometimes.

I would think the pool would actually be safer if there were no deck supervisors, b/c they cause a false sense of security.
post #27 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post
That just doesn't sound true at all. I'm not a lawyer and I live in NJ, but it really really sounds ridiculous. How could a law possibly force an unwilling adult or institution to take responsibility for any child simply b/c they are trained lifeguards. If that were true I could just stop by your house and drop DS off b/c your a trained lifeguard and you couldn't ask me to stay and supervise him.

What I suspect is the case, is they have untrained deck supervisors b/c they look like lifeguards but are much cheaper. Of course they post the signs for liability reasons, but most people would not realize there were no lifeguards. If I saw that sign, but saw what looked like lifeguards I would think that the sign was just left up at all times b/c there were no lifeguards sometimes.

I would think the pool would actually be safer if there were no deck supervisors, b/c they cause a false sense of security.
Exactly! Ours has lifegaurds but there are also strict rules on no under 13 kids left unsupervised. If there are kids in there the parent HAVE to be in the pool room with them.
post #28 of 105
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post
I would think the pool would actually be safer if there were no deck supervisors, b/c they cause a false sense of security.
Yes, I agree with you 100%! I always watch my kids like crazy but also assumed the deck supervisors were lifeguard trained! Not sure WHY they are even there if they aren't, and aren't useful when needed anyway!
post #29 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelBee View Post
Thank God he is ok!

You did an amazing thing!!! I have no words to say what is on my heart.....
Absolutely. Oh my goodness . . . just reading about what happened has me shaken.
post #30 of 105
Wow. Ummmm......Wow.



If I were you I would continue to contact gym management, as high up as I could go. And if they didn't respond I would contact media, the fire department, ANYONE who could get the word out on this.
post #31 of 105


Being who I am, I would be calling every single person, group, organization I can think of to get something changed at that gym. Including the papers. I don't care if they don't want to deal with parents going to work out while their kids swim. A public pool needs a life guard on duty. Preferably more than one.

Also, I don't know if it's been mentioned, but it might help for you talk to a professional about this to help you work through it. No doubt a very traumatic experience. I'm shaking just reading it.
post #32 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
Also, I don't know if it's been mentioned, but it might help for you talk to a professional about this to help you work through it. No doubt a very traumatic experience. I'm shaking just reading it.
Everyone else has said what I think about the situation, but I wanted to push this point. It can be EXTREMELY traumatic to be involved with situations like this, and you need to really take care of yourself for the next few days! We're not meant to deal with life and death everyday, so it can take its toll on you, so take care and be gentle with yourself, and if it would help, talk to someone.
post #33 of 105
OMG, what a horrendous experience. Thank goodness you were there. I can't begin to understand the father's reaction....truly sickening.

Get yourself some homeopathic Aconite 30C from the health food store (take a few doses over a day). It will help with the shock you went through!

I second getting the media involved!
post #34 of 105
Mandy - what a truly horrible experience for you. But thank goodness you were there and kept your wits about you.

I agree with the other pp's who suggested that you might want to talk to someone about this. I think it's so devastating on so many levels that you will want and need to work it through.
post #35 of 105
Wow - good for you for being on the ball.

As for the lifeguard thing - it sounds like they've set up a dangerous situation with their deck supervisors. They would be much better to have NO ONE working the pool area & make it truly parental supervision instead of giving any kind of impression that the pool is being watched by someone with any kind of training at all.

It sounds like the father was probably in shock - many people are completely immobolized by shock.
post #36 of 105
Honestly I would find it very hard to believe that there is such a law. Now to CYA yes I see it, in fact that is probably the case. There is less liability if its policy and clearly stated that there is no lifeguard than to have trained lifeguards always available when the pool open, sucky money saving measure but it happens alot. Again CYA against liability even if you have a lifeguard its high liability if they didnt see the incident or respond fast enough or whatnot.

I would be really questioning whether I would wnat to remain a member of that gym because obviously the employess and staff are not trained (enough or properly) on how to handle emergency situations. My question would be after your experience do you feel that the staff is qualified to handle emergency situations if they should arise with you? I wouldnt. Yes its normal for people to freeze but again there should be a plan for emergencies in place in every workplace for that reason. Its so ingrained in you that you just automatically do it. Im also suprised that they didnt alert other staff of an in house emergency, our gym has a emergency lever at several stations throughout the gym (pool, locker rooms) that automatically go off if pulled.
post #37 of 105
First of all, I want to say that you're a hero. Thank you for being so quick to react and for just being you in that horrible moment in time.

You, the woman who found him, the swim instructor, the man who came over to help - you're all heros and I'm thankful to all of you. You're amazing.

Now . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joyster View Post
As for what I'd do, I'd scream to everyone who'd listen to get this gym's policies changed, and if it meant changing the policy of the district so be it. I'd be on the horn to the media so fast. But I can tell you that something like that for me, would be therapeutic. It really depends on what you need to do for yourself.


This is exactly what I would do. The fact that they're trying to downplay such a terrible incident is horrifying.

In addition, I'd run as fast as I could from the gym. It doesn't sound like ANY place I'd want to be - let alone have my kids there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MandyB View Post
This is exactly what I feel like I need to do. Just checking I guess to make sure I'm NOT crazy to want to do so!
Not crazy at all. In fact, I'd go so far as to venture that it's the sanest possible reaction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
Also, I don't know if it's been mentioned, but it might help for you talk to a professional about this to help you work through it. No doubt a very traumatic experience. I'm shaking just reading it.
I want to stress this as well. You've just experienced something that no one should ever have to. You're bound to be left with some scars and anxiety from it. I know that I wouldn't come out of something like this calm and collected. A grief or trauma councilor would probably be able to help you greatly.

My thoughts are with you as you continue to process this terrifying event. Rest assured in that knowledge that you're an inspiration to me and - I'm sure - everyone else. Don't forget that.

Thanks again for just being you.


ETA: I am a lawyer so I might be able to help you figure out what you could or could not say to media outlets as long as you promise not to sue me if I steer you wrong.

Feel free to PM me any time.
post #38 of 105
How very horrible to be there, experiencing that
I really think you need to talk to Mom. She needs to know what you went through- what you say- the way Dad behaved. I know it's akward, and maybe difficult, but if you were taking awesome care of MY DS- then I would want to know.

Up here (northern cali) the one gym I belonged to had no lifegards on duty as well. They also had Deck Supervisors- their sole job was to clean the swim area (towels, drinks left over, also set out equiptment needed for classes, put away equiptment) they are absolutly NOT trained as Lifeguards. It's POSTED that they have NO TRAINING, and when you join the Gym you must sign several releases that state 1-No Lifeguards on duty 2-No Training is provided to Deck People 3-the Gym is not liable for any accidents, injury or death related in regards to the pool.

I would also write the Gym a letter. Very clear about what you want/expect to happen. Very clear about your upset over the Employee's standing around not doing anything. I also would include the rude woman on the phone and the attitude you've endured. It's not acceptable, even if you were the 112th caller regarding this. Grow some Customer Service, for crying out loud.

I would also debate contacting CPS after talking to the Mom. I am deeply disturbed by the Dad's reaction. It seemed to me like he was intoxicated (drugs? alcohol? rx's?) by his strange behavior. Yes, stress and grief make people react in different ways, but it seems to me this was almost a Joke in his mind. Very Very Very disturbing. I'm NOT big into calling CPS, however this situation is one that the child almost died- and the dad was wondering why he Sh*t himself???? REALLY??? Just horrible

I agree that you should see someone for some counseling. I think talking to the mom will help, and maybe even seeing the little boy. Provide some closure, but that won't get rid of the picture of him in your head Please consider this as well.
post #39 of 105
no lifeguard does not surprise me at all. here in CA. many businesses are struggling to survive. even public pools are having even more limited hours because of budget cuts. i know of two places. one is a professional swimm place. they have trained lifeguard on duty or else no one gets in the pool. a smaller gym has no lifeguard but needs children to be supervised at all times. obviously the swim club is far more expensive than the small gym.

first of all - after the ambulance - were you given any kind of support/services to deal with the emotional trauma you went through? being responsible for someone's life or death is a huge thing and you need to be heard.

unfortunately its a gym with terrible PR. i am sure they themselves are trying to figure out what to do. what trainings and policies and emergency procedures they need to put into place.

there are two things i would want you to do.

1. is seek some kind of help to help you process this. would you have time to see a therapist maybe once a week for 3 or 4 sessions or as many as you need. dont say you dont need it. when i dealt with my dad dying of cancer - on my return to work after medical leave, the first thing work did was make sure i knew i had the option of seeing a counsellor if i needed to.

2. what would you like to see happen. can you make a list of that. just put it down on paper. how would you like the gym to handle this situation IF it were to happen again? or what do they need to do to avoid it. asking for a lifeguard is not going to probably make it because they might not be able to afford one.

i really wouldnt care if they called me or didnt. what i would be interested to learn is what are they going to do in future. what are they going to do to make sure this does not happen again.

i really cannot imagine them sweeping this under the carpet. i am assuming they are working on internal policies. maybe talk to the person who helped you and see if he has heard anything.

perhaps visit another gym. see and question what they would do if such a thing happened in their gym.

i would also file a report of exactly what you did - all the observations so they have a blow by blow account of what happened.

mama you have had a profound, life altering moment. please get the help you might need to help you through this.
post #40 of 105
You are a hero. Thank you for saving that child's life.

Talk to the mom. In her shoes I would want to know what happened.

And do think about a couple of counseling sessions for yourself. What a terrifying experience.
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