6yr old Drowned at our Gym pool... - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 105 Old 06-28-2010, 12:15 PM
 
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Ughh.. how horrible! It's amazing that it all worked out well in the end.

The gym is covering their butts. They can't just talk to you over the phone. I am sure they were told to be quiet. So, I'd just drop it for now.

I hope the dad was just in shock or denial. But, it sure made him look like an idiot. As if making jokes could make this not real. (My dad was like that.. he would have walked away)

Kids drown.. even under the best conditions. Obviously, if Dad had been paying attention, he might have noticed. But, it's so incredibly common here in Arizona. Each time, I wonder "How could that happen??" But, I don't ever say it out loud, because it happens, and it could happen to me one day. Kids don't fight it, they just silently go under and they never flail or make noise. It's so silent. I've had kids I was watching go under like this. I stand up and look at them and think "Well, get UP!", but they don't. You have to go after them.
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#62 of 105 Old 06-28-2010, 12:23 PM
 
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How traumatic for you and the girls! How is the girl who found him doing? Has she been to a counselor? I can't imagine being a part of something like that as an adult, let alone a 10 year old child.

I agree that you should contact the media, and talk to the mother to see how Mikey is doing.

I'm so glad you were all able to save that little boy. You are most definitely a hero.

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#63 of 105 Old 06-28-2010, 12:33 PM
 
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Thank you for being that child's momma bear when he needed one.

I have seen people starting to drown and been the one screaming for help with blase lifeguards not paying attention.

Last year, my DH was faster than 911, going to buy benadryl and coming back while I was having an anaphylactic reaction to an abx.

The more 'emergencies' I encounter in my life the more I realize you can't rely on anyone to do anything even if it is their job.

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#64 of 105 Old 06-28-2010, 01:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MandyB View Post
Thank you for your responses, and for even getting through the whole post! I asked them why they don't have lifeguards (I think I always thought the deck employees were lifeguards, but they just didnt announce it so people would watch their kids, ya know?) 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?
I can't imagine that's true. We're not in CA, but at our Y, we have lifeguards, but parents still have to stay with children under a certain age (not sure what because mine are 3 and 5. Children are only to be left in the childcare center while you're working out.

Yes, I would call the gym repeatedly. At this point, I'd actually probably just show up and insist that I be seen. Who owns the gym? Could you contact that person instead of the manager? If I owned the business, I'd want to know about something like that. I would imagine the swim instructor who helped you needs some kind of closure, too, and it probably would be beneficial to both of you to talk to someone at the gym about what happened. I would think for the sake of liability that someone would have asked for your side of the story already.

Who knows why the dad wasn't watching, but he probably was in shock when you and the swim instructor were doing CPR. I've seen plenty of people who just shut down. We had a friend whose daughter died, and she seemed totally calm through the whole thing. It wasn't until months later that she broke down over it, but many people thought it was weird that she acted like nothing was wrong during the wake & funeral. Without anything telling me anything else, I'd say it probably was an automatic coping mechanism.

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#65 of 105 Old 06-28-2010, 02:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MandyB View Post
The reason I think they AREN'T talking to the employees is because everytime it's been mentioned, nobody seems to know about it. One daycare employee asked another manager if she knew about it, and she told the same wierd story the front desk person is telling. They're saying he was in a swim lesson with the instructor {um, no} and got over exhausted, so the instructor began CPR. The story doesn't even make sense! Why would you do CPR unless he was gone?!
I just wanted to add that there may be confidentiality concerns - employee's may have been instructed not to talk about it to ensure confidentiality. The gym's lawyers have most likely told everyone to keep their mouths shut.

ETA - i was a lifeguard for about 5 years, and I will never entrust my child's life to a lifeguard. I was a good guard, I had good guards that I worked with, I made several saves (but never performed CPR on anyone - at the YMCA camp I worked at we were required to notice and respond within 30seconds of a child going under, and same at the cuty pools I worked at). But, that said, some of the lifeguards I have seen are absolutely DISGRACEFUL and shouldn't be working. I also won't go to any pools that don't have lifeguards, b/c I tend to still sweep the pool and watch kids carefully.
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#66 of 105 Old 06-28-2010, 03:01 PM
 
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Thank God for YOU! I bet that this boy will always remember the lady and two men saving his life!

I heartbeat.gif my  9/22/02  dd who likes to blahblah.gif, 4/29/09 mos old. silly & adventurous girl twins twins.gif ,  11/15/l0 girl baby.gif & my coffee drinking DH!
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#67 of 105 Old 06-28-2010, 03:12 PM
 
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But, that said, some of the lifeguards I have seen are absolutely DISGRACEFUL and shouldn't be working. .
I live next to a very large waterpark. Last year, my 16 yr old's friends were hired as lifeguards. I was shocked. Two of these friends are the dippiest girls in the entire town. How on earth they were hired to protect kids is beyond me. These girls took some lifeguard training classes, and that's all they had to do. There is absolutely no way, these kids would have reacted correctly in an emergency. (the other girl would be awesome in an emergency)

I lost all faith in the wisdom of waterpark management after that.
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#68 of 105 Old 06-28-2010, 03:39 PM
 
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Slightly OT but important:

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Originally Posted by pigpokey View Post
I have had PTSD. It sucks. You may benefit from not being in the building for a while.
This. I just wanted to say your first post had PTSD written all over it. PTSD is the natural, normal reaction to such a violent, traumatic event. Take care of yourself. Find a way for you to get through this, at the pace you need. Maybe you will want to talk with a therapist who has dealt with PTSD, maybe you will want to write about it, maybe you will have to talk about it 500 more times... whatever it is, find they way to take care of yourself.
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#69 of 105 Old 06-28-2010, 03:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lifeguard View Post
It sounds like the father was probably in shock - many people are completely immobolized by shock.
Yeah this. I am one of those people. I can't imagine being immobile if one of my kids was in danger, but, I remember working in a bookstore when one of our customers just keeled over. I just totally froze. I was waiting for her to get back up. Fortunately my coworkers called an ambulance and called out to see if there was a doctor in the house (there were two browsing for books!) while I just stood there stupidly.

But also what other people said--please take care of yourself right now, it must have been a very traumatic experience and I'm sure it will take awhile to recover.

Thank God the boy was ok.

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#70 of 105 Old 06-28-2010, 04:57 PM
 
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Thank you for acting when others couldn't.

First, take care of you. You have been through an incomprehensible ordeal, and you need to process this.

If/when you feel up to it, here are some things you may want to suggest that the gym adopt:

1. Recommend that the gym hire lifeguards that are adult-child-infant CPR/AED trained. CPR/AED may be a lifeguard requirement anyway, but specifying this training is never a bad idea.

2. If they can't/won't employ lifeguards, recommend that the gym require that every member acknowledge in writing that there are no lifeguards available. Have them post large signs in the swimming area (if they don't already have them) that there are no lifeguards available. Have them require that the deck guards have CPR/AED training for adult/child/infant.

3. Recommend that they post a simple CPR guide, much like the choking guides that you see posted in restaurants. http://depts.washington.edu/learncpr/quickcpr.html and http://depts.washington.edu/learncpr/childrencpr.html have great examples. This could be posted in the pool area and in other areas of the gym as well.

4. Have them purchase an AED and KEEP IT IN AN AREA OF THE GYM AWAY FROM THE POOL. This is important because current CPR guidelines recommend rescue breathing and chest compressions for two minutes on children under about age 8 before using an AED. Most children under age 8 will respond to CPR best. If the AED is more than a two minutes' run away from the pool area, that would be ideal.

If you decide to approach the mother, tread very gently. I can't imagine my child almost dying in my absence, and if the story she has heard is substantially different from what actually happened, it could be very difficult for her to process. I would personally not include any details about the child's father's reaction. Although shocking and inappropriate to bystanders, I honestly heard a dad who was helpless and embarassed by his own helplessness, rather than an abusive or uncaring person.

Phew! What a stressful situation. Take some time and space for yourself, mama.
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#71 of 105 Old 06-28-2010, 05:24 PM
 
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Hooray for you and a healthy ending.

I'm in CA and we have lifeguards at my gym/pool. Many of them. Usually 5 lifeguards for one 25 yeard pool plus 2 foot kiddie pool. ANd they are all really well trained
There's a sign posted that ONLY children who can swim halfway across the pool, swim back and exit the pool by the side (not the steps) are allowed in the pool without a parent IN THE POOL
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#72 of 105 Old 06-28-2010, 06:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pigpokey View Post
There is only one person responsible for the child: his parents.

If you want to blame the pool, blame them for not kicking the kid out of the pool when his father didn't get in with him.

I would tell the mom.

Thank goodness you were there and took care of him when his father was not.


As someone who almost drowned as a child--thank you for your quick action and to your friends' girls for finding the boy. I think it's pretty terrible that the gym's employees didn't know what to do, but also think the responsibility lies squarely at the father's feet as he was the supervising parent who brought the child to the pool and there were clearly no lifeguards on duty. At my gym the "deck supervisors" are just glorified janitors so I'm not too surprised at what happened, assuming your gym is anything like mine at least. (BTW I'm also in CA... I almost wonder if it's the same chain of gyms.)

I would find a way to talk to the mom about it and see what she thinks happened--and give her more info if needed. Maybe dad was just in shock or maybe there is something else up, and I think mom ought to have all the pieces of info so she can make a judgment whether she can send her son off with his dad by themselves again.

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#73 of 105 Old 06-28-2010, 06:33 PM
 
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I had a hard time separating the two dad issues but my husband (to whom I told this story) helped me see it.

1) Dad's reaction was ... baffling. Some have pointed out it could have been shock.

2) Dad left a 6 year old child completely unsupervised in a pool for long enough for him to drown, be found by non-lifeguards (that is, people who were not watching him) and have life support begun.

We don't know if the reaction was blase or shock - it makes me sick to my stomach but I admit he could be a loving, concerned father who was having trouble grasping the situation even when they carted him away in an ambulance (I can't believe he didn't get in the ambulance either... you have a terrified 6 year old who drowned, you stay with him. You deal with the car or whatever later).

But, the lack of supervision is something else. I fervently hope the gravity of the situation has sunk in with the father. I have made safety mistakes myself (none with serious consequences I'm glad to say), and while I can't see myself making this particular one, I can see how a loving and concerned parent might have just, I don't know, gone to the bathroom to take a dump or something, figuring his kid was a good swimmer and in water he could stand up in, and that taking a dump would only take a couple minutes. A very bad decision but you can see someone making it.

It's the combination of the lack of supervision and the (non) reaction to the drowning that makes me sick to my stomach. If he had indeed left his son and came back to find him drowned and reacted like I would imagine most people would, I would have felt like "whew, glad this turned out ok." But you combine blase parenting and blase reaction to a death (even if revived) - it just makes me want to throw up.

I can only hope that it's sunk in with him by now.

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#74 of 105 Old 06-28-2010, 08:26 PM
 
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This was posted on Facebook today by Kellymom.com. Could be useful to many of us reading this thread:
http://gcaptain.com/maritime/blog/drowning?10981

You can find me on Facebook. PM for info.
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#75 of 105 Old 06-28-2010, 08:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Pirogi View Post
Thank you for acting when others couldn't.

First, take care of you. You have been through an incomprehensible ordeal, and you need to process this.

If/when you feel up to it, here are some things you may want to suggest that the gym adopt:

1. Recommend that the gym hire lifeguards that are adult-child-infant CPR/AED trained. CPR/AED may be a lifeguard requirement anyway, but specifying this training is never a bad idea.

2. If they can't/won't employ lifeguards, recommend that the gym require that every member acknowledge in writing that there are no lifeguards available. Have them post large signs in the swimming area (if they don't already have them) that there are no lifeguards available. Have them require that the deck guards have CPR/AED training for adult/child/infant.

3. Recommend that they post a simple CPR guide, much like the choking guides that you see posted in restaurants. http://depts.washington.edu/learncpr/quickcpr.html and http://depts.washington.edu/learncpr/childrencpr.html have great examples. This could be posted in the pool area and in other areas of the gym as well.

4. Have them purchase an AED and KEEP IT IN AN AREA OF THE GYM AWAY FROM THE POOL. This is important because current CPR guidelines recommend rescue breathing and chest compressions for two minutes on children under about age 8 before using an AED. Most children under age 8 will respond to CPR best. If the AED is more than a two minutes' run away from the pool area, that would be ideal.

If you decide to approach the mother, tread very gently. I can't imagine my child almost dying in my absence, and if the story she has heard is substantially different from what actually happened, it could be very difficult for her to process. I would personally not include any details about the child's father's reaction. Although shocking and inappropriate to bystanders, I honestly heard a dad who was helpless and embarassed by his own helplessness, rather than an abusive or uncaring person.

Phew! What a stressful situation. Take some time and space for yourself, mama.

I loved your post - you had so many excellent , practical, productive suggestions.

To the OP, huge hugs. I've never been in a situation like the one you described, but I did pull an unattended toddler from our local pool last summer. I was shocked and angry that no one else noticed him go under, and that I had to search for his parents. For my own sanity, I have to believe that this was one of those one-time mistakes made by otherwise good parents, and just be greatful that on that day, I noticed and acted (even when I felt really silly running across the pool without being 100% sure his parents weren't already on their way).
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#76 of 105 Old 06-28-2010, 09:20 PM
 
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This was posted on Facebook today by Kellymom.com. Could be useful to many of us reading this thread:
http://gcaptain.com/maritime/blog/drowning?10981
Very interesting read, thanks for linking.

OP, thanks for being that little boy's hero. Many hugs to you mama.

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#77 of 105 Old 06-28-2010, 09:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lotusdebi View Post
This was posted on Facebook today by Kellymom.com. Could be useful to many of us reading this thread:
http://gcaptain.com/maritime/blog/drowning?10981
I was just about to post that link!

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#78 of 105 Old 06-28-2010, 11:53 PM
 
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Thank you so much for being there for this little boy. My heart broke when I read it but we must remember life is precious and to be extra safe this summer!

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#79 of 105 Old 06-29-2010, 12:34 PM
 
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I think it sounds like the dad was in shock. My husband had an accident in November... home repairs and a beam fell on his head. I remember hesitating about giving him one of my *good* towels to catch the blood... and joking in the car as I was driving him to the ER that he just did this so he can cut his hair again (I like it long, he likes it short). It seems so horrible now, I mean I didn't even know if he had a skull fracture or major brain damage (no, and minor) and here I am making stupid jokes and worrying about stupid towels. Trauma is a very strange thing.
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#80 of 105 Old 06-29-2010, 02:09 PM
 
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i had a hard time separating the two dad issues but my husband (to whom i told this story) helped me see it.

1) dad's reaction was ... Baffling. Some have pointed out it could have been shock.

2) dad left a 6 year old child completely unsupervised in a pool for long enough for him to drown, be found by non-lifeguards (that is, people who were not watching him) and have life support begun.

Poppan ~ twins born April 2007
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#81 of 105 Old 06-29-2010, 04:08 PM
 
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First, thank you for being both willing and able to act. As you saw, people like you are few and far between and the world is a better place because of you.

I would definitely put this in writing. Send the letter to the director at this particular gym facility, the risk manager at the corporate office (if its a chain, I'm sure they have one - you may be able to find an organizational chart on the website), and copy your local TV stations. If you have a local TV news station that does "consumer fraud" sorts of things (you know -- "I was ripped off by this big corporation and they won't talk to me" sorts of stories), that would be the perfect intro.

Things in writing are always better than a phone call in these situations.

And yes, please make sure you take care of yourself. These things are traumatic and you may well feel better after both taking action and talking to a counselor of some type.
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#82 of 105 Old 06-29-2010, 04:48 PM
 
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I want to clarify a couple things that have been posted: As far as I know Lifegaurds are reuired to also be trained for infants and children. (I was trained in all and AED) Its a Professional Rescuer level of first aid and CPR/AED training required.

Also, the class isn't just a couple day thing if its a red cross sponsored one. If its a good course it should be near 40+ hours to complete and extensive training and testing. I know when I was done with each day of mine (it was a month long class) I was WIPED out tired and I'm a pretty good swimmer. If it seems like a class is just passing anyone I'd seriously question the instructor and talk to the local red cross office (if that is who is conducting it) about it.

There are good lifegaurds and bad ones. And it also depends on what the facility requires for continued training and policies. I know ours required a inservice meeting once a month to refresh on skills. They also had strict policies about no phones, no books, you could do nothing but watch the pool. No gaurds were allowed to work shifts longer than 3-4 hours at a time either. Before the current lifegaurd was hired on they had lax rules and there was even a report of a gaurd sleeping on duty. WTH? So yeah, there are good and bad.

If in doubt, ask what the training requirements are at the pool you swim at, who does the training/certification, what ongoing trainings are done and specific policies they may have in place.

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#83 of 105 Old 06-29-2010, 05:56 PM
 
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You've already been told everything I would say. Thank you so much for being quick to respond and paying attention to your surroundings. You are a wonderful person.

My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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#84 of 105 Old 06-30-2010, 12:42 AM
 
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so glad to hear the boy is ok. Please keep us updated on the story. Unfortunately it did not end so well for this little boy:
http://www.app.com/article/20100629/...-family-s-pool
This was the son of a friend of mine from high school - grandma was watching him and went out front for a smoke, the boy slipped out the unlocked back door. It was all over in a couple of minutes......so sad.

Mom to Morgan 4-3-06 and announcing Baby Kelsey 4-11-10
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#85 of 105 Old 06-30-2010, 07:24 PM
 
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Thank God for people like you.

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#86 of 105 Old 07-04-2010, 03:09 PM
 
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Mandy- Wanted to send you a huge

That little boy would not be alive without you! Have you considered contacting the local newspaper?

I just wanted to link over to this thread, for anyone who has NOT seen it:
'PSA: Drowning...aka "I had NO idea it looked like that"'
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...php?p=15587842

Also, these are much older threads, but someone used to post a version of it almost every single year:
"The Pool - study finds most children drown while supervised "
2004: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=151496
2006: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=468167
2007: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=151496

He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.  ~Albert Einstein
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#87 of 105 Old 07-05-2010, 03:22 AM
 
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Mandy, it's truly wonderful that you saved this little boy's life. It's truly awful that his father wasn't supervising him.

It's inexcusable that a member of the staff was so rude to you when you called. If you remember her name I think you should let management know exactly what she said.

And, it would be nice if everyone knew better how to act in a life and death emergency. I sure hope I'll remember what to do and act as quickly as you did should I ever face one.

But I don't see how any of this was the fault of the facility. They clearly stated that there was no lifeguard on duty and parents needed to supervise their children. True, a staff person probably should have thought to send you a thank you card or something...

That said, if I were a member there, I'd hate to see more rules instituted which essentially punish ALL parents and children because SOME parents don't care to ensure their children's safety.

It's become so depressing at our local neighborhood pool. They won't let the children wear waterwings or use kickboards or anything. Our 10-year-old's a strong swimmer, but it'd be so nice for me if our 5-year-old could wear the wings so I could swim at her side and get some exercise myself instead of needing to stand up and hold her.

Don't get me wrong: I don't "trust" waterwings to guard the safety of my child. I'd still be there at her side to help her should she run into any trouble. But, from what the pool staff has told me, they quit allowing waterwings because some parents think their children don't need supervision if they're wearing them.

It's a real drag. I wish our neighborhood pool just had a sign that said "swim at your own risk" because I watch over my own children whether there's a lifeguard on duty or not. These days, we drive 30 minutes to swim at a lake and get away from all these pesky rules.

I'd hate to think that if someone at this lake wasn't watching their child and there was a tragedy, the lake would start "cracking down" and become another oppressive place. Maybe some parents feel safer when there's a lifeguard on duty, and rules rules rules up the wazoo -- but I say parents just need to watch their kids. Period.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#88 of 105 Old 07-05-2010, 07:36 AM
 
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We were at a family reunion Saturday and about 10 kids or more were in the pool at any given time. I'm very disappointed in dp's family that I was the ONLY one constantly scanning the pool to make sure all heads were either above water level or about to come up.
DP's neice (19 yo) just left me in charge at the last minute of her 6 yo sister who can't swim, has CP, AND just had surgery a few months ago on her leg so she could leave because she was bored.
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#89 of 105 Old 07-05-2010, 08:37 PM
 
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And see, I would never leave a 19-year-old, even one who's a lifeguard, in charge of my 6-year-old. Dh and I don't trust anyone but ourselves to supervise our children in the water when they're that young.

We did just recently let our 10-year-old, who swims really well, go swimming with our neighbors who we trust really well. This was a big first for us. I can't imagine doing that with a 6-year-old. And our oldest was actually swimming well by age 6, but we just always felt that one of us needed to be with her in the water at that age.

I do very strongly feel that no one can be as aware of my child in the water as dh or I can. Maybe that's why I don't care if there's a lifeguard on duty. I don't even trust them to be tuned in to my child.

I guess the rules really need to be there for those few children who have parents who couldn't care less about their safety in the water. It just makes it constrictive for the rest of us who'd like to swim freely, but have to resort to swimming in public places 'cause we can't afford to build our own pool or dig our own lake.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#90 of 105 Old 07-06-2010, 04:56 PM
 
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Swimming lessons start in late July for us. Our city ran gym in Ca does not let children under 7 be unattended. There are life guards.

Your experience sounds horrendous and I am sorry you are getting such a hard time from the gym. You deserve better.

At our gym at swimming lessons, a mom I know noticed her daughter in trouble on the first day of a new session, which is usually chaotic. The instructors were trying to organize amongst themselves while their charges were in the pool. Her little girl, 4, left the side of the pool, was struggling face down. The mom rushed to get her. The life gaurds did not notice till she reprimanded them loudly infront of all. I was so proud of her. She told me later that the little girl said, "mommy I was drownding and nobody was helping me".

It is good for us to hear these stories making us careful.
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