Safety Breaks at the pool - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Do your local pools have safety breaks?
Yeap we have them here 60 40.00%
No we don't 12 8.00%
Safety break? What in the dickens is that? 76 50.67%
Other 2 1.33%
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#1 of 66 Old 07-16-2009, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DH is from the west and since we moved back here, to Ohio, he is greatly amused at the concept of safety breaks. My DSD also was amused at this this summer. I wanted to know if your local pools do safety breaks, and if you don't mind giving your location, I wonder if it's just a east or midwestern thing... Also are they done in other countries?

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#2 of 66 Old 07-16-2009, 04:42 PM
 
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Adult swim... all kids out of the pool. It gives the lifeguards a chance to pee and put on more sunscreen.
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#3 of 66 Old 07-16-2009, 04:57 PM
 
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Not done in Montana... sounds like a good idea tho.
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#4 of 66 Old 07-16-2009, 05:01 PM
 
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Adult swim... all kids out of the pool. It gives the lifeguards a chance to pee and put on more sunscreen.
That's what they do here. We're in OH. I'm from NY, and we never did that when I was a lifeguard (20 years ago ).

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#5 of 66 Old 07-16-2009, 05:16 PM
 
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I have only been to two public pools, one in CA, and one in Texas. They both had these breaks.

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#6 of 66 Old 07-16-2009, 05:35 PM
 
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I don't really know what you mean by safety breaks but when I was working at pools we would sometimes work mock situations into the public swims. Sometimes that meant clearing everyone out of the pool momentarily so the guards could practice their skills (including crowd control).

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#7 of 66 Old 07-16-2009, 05:40 PM
 
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I used to lifeguard. The break has several functions.

1. It gives the lifeguards a break to jump in and cool off, get a drink, put more sunscreen on or whatever.

2. With lots of people in the water it is possible for someone to have gone under and not be seen (shouldn't ever happen) but it's best to clear everyone out upon occasion and check that no ones under water. Though I will say that proper guard placement, enforced capacities, and good lifeguards should make sure that someone under water is never discovered in this manner.

3. Often little kids will be so busy playing that they don't realize how tired they are. It forces them out of the pool for a brief break

4. It allows the guards to check for floaters (poop) in the pool.

5. It gives the pool equipment and filters a chance to work a little more effectively for a few minutes. Lots of dirt, sweat, and lots of body making the obstructing water flow patterns makes for a dirty pool.

6. It increases revenues for snack bars.

I've seen them in Wyoming and in South Dakota.

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#8 of 66 Old 07-16-2009, 06:02 PM
 
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I remember them at the pool I went to in NC when I was a teen. I don't remember what ages it included, maybe 12 and under? 16 and under?

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#9 of 66 Old 07-16-2009, 06:31 PM
 
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We don't have them at our pool in Iowa, but when I was little the pool in IL I went to had them.

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#10 of 66 Old 07-16-2009, 06:33 PM
 
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Yes, our local pool has these breaks. I think they just make kids get out of the pool? for fifteen minutes. I'm in MI.

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#11 of 66 Old 07-16-2009, 06:39 PM
 
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Yes our pool does breaks. They have enough lifeguards for rounds so it's not a lifeguard break. They do it to check the pool (and probably for concession $$ haha).

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#12 of 66 Old 07-16-2009, 06:39 PM
 
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When I was a guard in AZ, we safety drills infrequently (maybe once a week or even less). But a drill was a full-on re-enactment of an actual emergency. One of the guards would put on a t-shirt or white swim cap and try to find a spot that wasn't being guarded as carefully (such as right under the guard chair, or behind it). Or they would wait until a guard was preoccupied with talking to a couple of unruly kids. Then, as soon as one of the guards saw the "victim" they would blow the whistles and everyone would leap into action just as if it were a real emergency. This served several purposes:

1. Keeping the guards on their toes at all times
2. Helping keep the emergency procedures fresh in all the staff minds at all times, like how to get a spinal injury victim out of the water safely
3. Helping the regular pool patrons know what to do in an emergency and to keep calm

We sometimes did a drill if the pool was very very crowded or the kids were very feisty that day, just to calm things down. Inevitably when we did the drill, some people would leave.

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#13 of 66 Old 07-16-2009, 11:42 PM
 
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Nope we don't do them here (in MO). I've worked as a guard at several pools over the years as well. As a guard and aquatic director my policies were always pretty strict re: pool population. If the bathing load was such that guards felt they couldn't see the bottom of the pool, then management kept some people on the deck and closed the entrance until things cleared a bit. And I always worked for pools large enough to have a rotation so everyone rested 15 minutes of every hour. I'm with the OP's husband on this one, I think it's a little silly (and maybe a good excuse to force folks to the concession stand)!

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#14 of 66 Old 07-16-2009, 11:49 PM
 
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I'm in CO, years back when I was a kid, the pool in another town did them. It was adult swim for 10 minutes every hour, it was an outdoor pool. The rec center pool in my town is indoors and they don't do them, thank goodness. I wouldn't want to get my children out of the pool every hour for 10 minutes. They rotate the lifeguards every 15 minutes though, I don't remember the pool that had safety breaks doing that.

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#15 of 66 Old 07-16-2009, 11:54 PM
 
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we had them when I lived in new jersey.

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#16 of 66 Old 07-16-2009, 11:56 PM
 
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Huh. I'm a lifelong swimmer and have never even heard of this term before. You learn new things every day I guess!

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#17 of 66 Old 07-16-2009, 11:57 PM
 
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A little girl in Houston drowned this week during the safety break/adult swim.



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#18 of 66 Old 07-17-2009, 12:01 AM
 
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yes, adult swim, all kids out of the pool for 15 mins every hour. I hated them as a kid and now I hate them as an adult - all the big kids invade the baby pool area.

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#19 of 66 Old 07-17-2009, 12:03 AM
 
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I'm in Utah and our pool does them every two hours. They also disinfect the pools during this time. We had a big problem with some bacteria a couple of summers back, which is when I think this started.

ETA: This is everyone out of the pool, not an 'adult swim' time.

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#20 of 66 Old 07-17-2009, 12:07 AM
 
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There are lots of pools near me. I have only been to one and they did not do an adult swim at all. There is another one much closer that I just heard does adult swim for the first 15 minutes of every hour.

I am in Pittsbugh, PA.

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#21 of 66 Old 07-17-2009, 12:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Buzzer Beater View Post
Not done in Montana... sounds like a good idea tho.
We do them over here on the eastern end.

10 minutes every hour, time to slather on sunscreen, let the guards get a drink, pee, jump in the pool, etc, and then the guards change positions.
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#22 of 66 Old 07-17-2009, 12:24 AM
 
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Our pool does adult swim for 15 mins every hour. I love it.

It's a great way for me to schedule our swim time. My kids refer to it as 'how many swims are we staying for?' Even if we're staying for several hours, I like it that the kids have to all get out at the same time, get sunscreened, use the bathroom, get a drink of water, etc.

Now, my dream is of the day that I can take advantage of that adult swim time and get 15 mins exercise myself...... but the day that I can leave my youngest safely for 15 mins seems a long, long way off.......by then I'll be in a zimmer frame.
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#23 of 66 Old 07-17-2009, 01:25 AM
 
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I had almost forgot about those. We do not have them here(Portland, Oregon) that I have seen.
We did have them in Texas when I lived there.

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#24 of 66 Old 07-17-2009, 01:47 AM
 
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i grew up in houston, and we had the 15minutes every hour break. some pools were everyone out, and some were adult swim

our new neighborhood pool opened this summer, and we've been going a few times a week for a few hours, and ive been there for one break. caused an absolute meltdown for my 21month old- we had just got there, and he had just walked in the pool when i had to take him out.

i dont know why they did it that particular time. there are always tons of lifeguards there, enough that a bunch of them hang around in the shade chatting, and at that time i think there were only 2 other families in the pool. they didnt do any cleaning or anything either.

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#25 of 66 Old 07-17-2009, 07:25 AM
 
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so a safety break is either when everyone has to get out of the pool, or all the children have to get out of the pool, for 10-15 mins each hour?

never heard of that! i'm in the uk. you can tell the difference in our climates by the fact i instantly thought of a bunch of blue-lipped, teeth chattering children, shivering on the edge of the pool waiting to be allowed back in!

public pools often have a lap swimmers only area though.
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#26 of 66 Old 07-17-2009, 08:46 AM
 
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Never heard of it! Sounds like a load of nonsense to me! I'm in Norway.
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#27 of 66 Old 07-17-2009, 08:55 AM
 
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so a safety break is either when everyone has to get out of the pool, or all the children have to get out of the pool, for 10-15 mins each hour?

never heard of that! i'm in the uk. you can tell the difference in our climates by the fact i instantly thought of a bunch of blue-lipped, teeth chattering children, shivering on the edge of the pool waiting to be allowed back in!

public pools often have a lap swimmers only area though.
I'm in NS, Canada and I'm thinking the same thing. Never heard of them, and am really glad they don't happen. The poor kids!

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#28 of 66 Old 07-17-2009, 10:28 AM
 
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Yeah they do that here. While I am sure they have a logical reason like giving the lifeguards a break and the kids a break from swimming....when I was little my brother always told me that they did it so the adults could swim for awhile without all the noisy kids in the water. LOL Who knows, maybe that was part of it.

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#29 of 66 Old 07-17-2009, 10:33 AM
 
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Never heard of it! Sounds like a load of nonsense to me! I'm in Norway.
I found it really odd myself when I heard about it. Just seems mean to me. Plus the pool I mentioned (where they do adult swim 15 minutes of every hour) has signs posted that "Lounge chairs are for adults only." So it's like you make all the kids get out of the pool and then they're not allowed to sit anywhere? Mean!!!

I don't know if we will ever go to that pool. I've heard from various people that the water is always freezing. The baby area is too deep for babies to sit. They make you pass a swim test to use the slide, they won't let you just catch your kid if he/she can't pass. The other pool where we have gone, they have warm water, a shallow baby area, and they have a lifeguard at the top and bottom of the slide - the one at the bottom's sole job being to catch kids if they need. Now THAT is service with a smile.

As a safety measure, adult swim makes a lot more sense ... but I don't know, the pool I went to where they didn't have it seemed plenty safe and clean and the lifeguards were plentiful and attentive. I guess it depends partly on staffing.

Looking for people on the bottom of the pool every 15 minutes doesn't seem exactly adequate... and if there's poop floating someone will yell ASAP anyway. (I was at a pool once that got cleared out due to poop. A little girl yelled "Look at that pinecone!" and then the lifeguard yelled "Everyone out!!!" LOL)

eta - as an "adult swim" measure it seems sort of silly to me as so many adults are there with little kids and won't be able to go in alone anyway... if someone is there with no kids it seems like 15 minutes of every hour is just too short a time, like taking 15 minute naps all night long instead of just getting a few hours. Would make more sense to dedicate at least an hour or 2 to adult swim but that's just my opinion. The whole deal seems like one of life's mysteries to me...

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#30 of 66 Old 07-17-2009, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, such a wide variety! I grew up with them, so I just expected them. I was shocked when we lived in Vegas and never had to get out.

As far as I know it's officially adults only around here too. Usually every hour for 10 minutes. Probably for "scanning the pool purposes." It's even done in indoor pools, so it's not a sunscreen break. It gives us a bit to take a break, reapply sunscreen, make sure the kids drink something. Most adults I see usually end up getting out of the pool because they're there with the kids anyways, so the pool is mostly empty.

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