Pool rules - just a vent - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 39 Old 02-05-2010, 12:52 PM
 
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That's ridiculous!

Children should be SUPERVISED, but arm's reach? Even expecting the parent of a 9 year old to be IN the water with them is a bit much (and in most pools, it seems like it would be easier to get to a kid if you weren't in the water, in a different section or something). My daughter will go in no matter how cold it is, and she'll stay in for ages after I'm done. She's a strong swimmer, and I feel perfectly comfortable letting her swim around the whole pool while I sit on the edge and watch.

At our health club, they have "kids night out" and the kids 7+ are allowed to go swimming for part of the time. There are life guards.

I wouldn't be comfortable with my 4 year old swimmer doing something like that, but by 7, with lifeguards and other supervisors there? Fine by me.

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#32 of 39 Old 02-05-2010, 10:29 PM
 
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And to make my whole irritation about this post worse.....

When I mentioned this rule to DH, his response was, "Yeah, that's ridiculous. Just like THOSE PEOPLE who won't ever turn their kid's carseats around."


Ummmm..... I'M ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE.

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#33 of 39 Old 02-06-2010, 02:13 PM
 
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Sorry. One county whose facilities we visit has the strictest rules I have had to deal with: under 6 need to be in arm's reach. They kind of enforced it the summer I had a 4 and a 3 year old (on the 3 year old) but by the next summer I didn't see any enforcement. I'm lucky to have tall kids.
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#34 of 39 Old 02-06-2010, 03:07 PM
 
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Our area pools have an "arms reach 7 and under" rule, and while I don't particularly like it, I get it. Have you had a kid go underwater and not know how to get up? I did it when I was 5 or 6. My DD fell in the water at our cabin this summer (she's 3). Of course we were both being watched and were fine, but water stuff happens so fast and can be so silent. If a pool is busy it could be very hard for a lifeguard to see every little body in the water all the time. Older kids can be more responsible for themselves.

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#35 of 39 Old 02-06-2010, 03:32 PM
 
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I will probably be the lone voice of dissent here. Here onDC you are "preaching to the choir". you are all involved parents who wouldn't dream of putting your children in danger. I work at a city rec center with a pool. Our rule is 8 and under within arms reach with the exception of the slide. It was 6 until a 6 year old drown in our pool within arms reach of her dad who wasn't paying attention. I never want to see that again.
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#36 of 39 Old 02-06-2010, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by 34me View Post
I will probably be the lone voice of dissent here. Here onDC you are "preaching to the choir". you are all involved parents who wouldn't dream of putting your children in danger. I work at a city rec center with a pool. Our rule is 8 and under within arms reach with the exception of the slide. It was 6 until a 6 year old drown in our pool within arms reach of her dad who wasn't paying attention. I never want to see that again.
Well, this somewhat exemplifies my point. My dh wouldn't be inattentive, but if dd got into trouble and it was dh that was in arm's reach, she'd still drown because he can barely keep on his feet in water, let alone swim. He would likely drown trying to save her. So to arbitrarily say "an adult" is a ridiculous rule because the adults are not required to prove they can swim. Dd would be MUCH safer in the water with him on the side, watching and alerting a lifeguard if he noticed she was in trouble. I think a better rule is adult present and attentive to children (i.e. not reading a book, or sleeping, or off at the concession stand).
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#37 of 39 Old 02-07-2010, 11:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by velochic View Post
Well, this somewhat exemplifies my point. My dh wouldn't be inattentive, but if dd got into trouble and it was dh that was in arm's reach, she'd still drown because he can barely keep on his feet in water, let alone swim. He would likely drown trying to save her. So to arbitrarily say "an adult" is a ridiculous rule because the adults are not required to prove they can swim. Dd would be MUCH safer in the water with him on the side, watching and alerting a lifeguard if he noticed she was in trouble. I think a better rule is adult present and attentive to children (i.e. not reading a book, or sleeping, or off at the concession stand).
But as your DH is a responsible adult he is likely quite capable of assessing his abilities and not going in too deep or refusing to be responsible for something he cannot handle. He is an adult making the decision, not a small child.

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#38 of 39 Old 02-08-2010, 12:58 AM
 
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Wow. It is such a tough situation. We had a girl die here last year at our pool. I just don't know what the rule should be. I do think the rule the OP quoted sounds absurd. I grew up going to the pool alone with my siblings starting at 6. They had lots of lifeguards, though, and we were very strong swimmers. The lifeguards seemed much more attentive then, too, though. Here they'll have one or two lifeguards on deck and sometimes no one is paying any attention.
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#39 of 39 Old 02-08-2010, 03:01 AM
 
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Not excessive. It seems over the top to someone whose children are good swimmers but most children of that age are not. It may also be their insurance. It could be that the only way they are able to keep their prices reasonable is to have such a rule. I have worked as a lifeguard, swim instructor, water safety instructor, and a swim coach at two different pools. One pool had a waterslide which had a height restriction because of the insurance. It was tough to tell a ten year old who held state swimming records they were not allowed to go on the slide because they were too short when they saw tall seven year olds who could barely doggie paddle going.

I've seen lots of parents who feel the lifeguards should be watching their kid every moment. Lifeguards have lots of kids to watch and they are not perfect. You never know when the lifeguard on duty is tired or is new to the pool/job or just barely passed. To be certified as a lifeguard you don't have to have any experience at all 'guarding' a pool, you only need to pass the test. Some pools train their lifeguards beyond that and some don't.

I know you feel your child is a great swimmer but even the best swimmers at eight years old can suddenly get tired while in the deep end, can play too rough, or can get splashed and inhale water and panic. They are still good swimmers but cannot be responsible for themselves while in the water.

It's harsh but having been a teacher of all red cross levels I think you should know that they don't mean very much. There is a checklist, if your child does a skill once - even with a huge amount of difficulty - they pass that skill and can pass that level. Numbered red cross levels for kids are not certifications and do not require any skills be mastered and therefore wouldn't prove anything to a pool manager.

Giving each young swimmer a test would be a lot of work for the people running the pool and wouldn't matter to their insurance company. Plus it would be expensive to keep someone there all the time to give these tests, which would raise prices for everyone. I once had a child in a swim class who had been in lessons for years then nearly drowned at a party, he was seven and after neing in the hospital came back terrified of water.

Please, just hop in the water with your kids and keep them close!
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