safety when living near creeks/ponds? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 03-21-2005, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
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I know common sense should be my guide, but life on a farm is brand new to this city girl. I'd be interested to hear your experiences. we have a creek running through our property, and a number of ponds. while dd is not even walking yet, we get a lot of young visitors.

how old do you think a child needs to be before they could safely play by a creek, and be expected to not go in?

i'd like to be able to let children run around with freedom, but I expect to play safe and responsible.

also, ideas for reliable, sturdy fencing around a pond would be welcome.

mama to one amazing daughter born 1/2004
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#2 of 6 Old 03-21-2005, 01:37 PM
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I was raised with a creek and we lived near a river. My parents allowed me to play in /by the creek when it wasnt flooding. When it was flooding I wasnt allowed anywhere near it.

The river I was allowed to play in at the age of 5 but only in one small area.

My oldest 2 girls also lived in the same place I was raised for over a year and we never had any problems with them. We explained the danger to them and allowed them to play when the water was low.

There never was any fencing around the creek.

I think the creek is kinda like forbidden fruit, dont keep them away from it as they will always be wanting to play in/near it but allow them to play under supervision when its low.

CHildren and water are like a duck to water :LOL

The place we live now has a pond that the girls love to play around.

Enjoy living in the country
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#3 of 6 Old 03-21-2005, 03:38 PM
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I was raised on a farm with a pond as well and after the age of five was allowed to go here alone but had to stay by the shallow end. As toddlers and preschoolers we were not allowed near the pond without a parent, due to drowning danger. The pond was high in spring with snow melts and we stayed away then because it was deep right by the banks.

If the pond is right in your yard, maybe fence it if its small. I've seen people do that.

Enjoy your farm!

Being right is not always fair, but being fair is always right
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#4 of 6 Old 03-21-2005, 08:32 PM
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I would treat it the same as a swimming pool. When would you let your child play alone in a swimming pool? I would exercise a lot of caution with water; it is easy to drown even when you are an excellent swimmer. Shallow water is not really any safer than deep water.
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#5 of 6 Old 03-21-2005, 11:17 PM
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Our farm borders a fast moving river, especially when the snow melts in the mountains. Spring and mid-summer are particularly dangerous times. We have a ditch between our home and the river that the kids play in all summer which moves at a casual pace but can also be very dangerous.

I am always aware of where the kids (or my older kids are watching the younger ones) are when the ditch is running and my kids that aren't good swimmers must have a life jacket to even be near the ditch or river. We've picked up a bunch of life jackets at thrift shops and garage sales so when friends come over there's always plenty. This helps put my mind at ease, as well as, their parents. IMO, life jackets are key!

Re. the ponds. I would suggest the same re. wearing life jackets. Also, be extra careful during the winter. I've heard really bad stories re. children and slightly frozen ponds.

Enjoy the farm life.......there's nothing more wonderful!
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#6 of 6 Old 03-30-2005, 02:33 PM
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We grew up with a pond, we weren't allowed near it on our own when we were young... I can't remember how old we were when we were allowed there on our own (I mean without an adult right there, I would go swimming alone as a teen but not when there was no one home at all). We just stayed away from it, but as a pp mentioned we had plenty of opportunities to play in it with supervision. In the winter, we just had to check with Dad. Actually, I still wouldn't go out on it without checking with him first, lol.

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