at what age do you stop supervising swimming pool? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 64 Old 08-24-2010, 08:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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dd who will be 8 in two weeks is a v. strong swimmer. when is it safe to stop supervising her. she has had a couple of incidents when she freaked out in the pool and figured out herself how to pull herself to the sides. the pool is deep in the middle but shallow on both sides.

i feel she is ready to be left alone, but mama guilt is holding me back. i find i am suffering from separation anxiety.

how did you all make this decision. leaving her alone to play in the bathtub alone also was a hard one for me.

one thing she does that has become second nature to her is sing when i am not in the room with her. if i had to dash out to get something i told her to keep on talking loudly or singing loudly so i could hear her as i left her alone in teh bathtub.

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#2 of 64 Old 08-24-2010, 08:40 PM
 
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Can she swim from one side to the other with no problem? Or stop to float if she can't make it all the way? If she do one or the other I'd say she is ok for short periods of time.

My 5 yo is a very good swimmer as well. We don't have a big pool at home but when I take them to the public pool or lake, he is allowed to go as far as I can see him well while I stay in the shallow with DS2. They both play alone outside (fenced yard) in the little 8" deep pool but that is totally different.

Good luck with the decision. It sounds like a tough one.

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#3 of 64 Old 08-24-2010, 08:40 PM
 
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I might be misunderstanding the situation, but no one should swim alone. I grew up in a very water-oriented family, and no one ever swam alone, but my mother would pop in to refill her water or go to the bathroom when I was around 9 or 10 and my brother would have been 5 or 6 and we were in an in-ground pool. We were both very strong swimmers by then, and we knew how to help each other from the side or run for help if needed.
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#4 of 64 Old 08-24-2010, 11:05 PM
 
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Unless you're using a pool with lifeguards, never. And that goes for strong swimmers too. Accidents happen.
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#5 of 64 Old 08-24-2010, 11:21 PM
 
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dd who will be 8 in two weeks is a v. strong swimmer. when is it safe to stop supervising her.
Never.

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#6 of 64 Old 08-25-2010, 04:40 AM
 
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Can she swim from one side to the other with no problem? Or stop to float if she can't make it all the way? If she do one or the other I'd say she is ok for short periods of time.

My ds could do this no problem last summer, just before he turned 2. He could also climb out on his own.

I didnt leave him alone last year, but this year for a couple min. at a time where I can see/hear him through the sliding glass doors, I was ok with that.

He could swim (well) before he could walk though and is in the pool every day.

ETA: I was allowed to go to the pool alone when I was in kindergarden. We lived in a building with 6 'apartments' and the pool was down a set of stairs at the bottom of a hill at the bottom of the building (we lived on the top floor). I was allowed to go alone as soon as I was tall enough to 'touch' in the whole pool, which was a giant above ground with a deck around it so not very deep.
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#7 of 64 Old 08-25-2010, 05:02 AM
 
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In AZ we have a campaign called '2 seconds is too long' Meaning 2 seconds with adult eyes off the water is too long. No one should ever go swimming alone. This situation is just a tragedy just waiting to happen - even if the can touch the bottom of the pool. Panic, a hit head on the side of the pool, freak accident, health issue, ANYTHING can happen, the filter can malfunction, a freak bee sting... you just dont know.
Leaving a child or anyone is a chance you do not take.

Water safety is something I take very very seriously.

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#8 of 64 Old 08-25-2010, 05:39 AM
 
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I wouldn't do it either, and my DS is an extremely stong swimmer, even at 3.5. Just grab a book and go with her.

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#9 of 64 Old 08-25-2010, 06:06 AM
 
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Assuming you are using a pool with lifeguard cover and she could swim the length of it I think you are fine. Our local pool rule is that kids can be unsupervised at 8 and my eldest enjoys going with her friends. I don't think we're far away from her being mortified at me going with her, actually.
Our local pool have lots of fun sessions aimed at older kids/teenagers with inflatables, disco music mats etc. which she really appreciates. (and I do to, comfortable with the level of lifeguarding letting her go with friends is a lot cheaper than a family outing.)
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#10 of 64 Old 08-25-2010, 11:02 AM
 
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Sorry, but at 8 years old, you should still be with her whether the pool has a lifeguard or not. I was a lifeguard/swim coach until 20 years of age. There's not one of us out there that can watch every child in the pool at every second. My children are extremely strong swimmers (water safety is one of the most important things to me) and I will not leave them unsupervised in water until they are at least 13 to 14 years of age and even then, they should be with someone else. It only takes a second to get too winded and go under. Even the strongest of swimmers can have accidents. 8 years old is just too young to understand the consequences of unsafe water play.

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#11 of 64 Old 08-25-2010, 11:09 AM
 
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Assuming they are a strong swimmer... when they can drive themselves to the pool and back. I think kids, up to the teen years need adult supervision in addition to lifeguard supervision. Kids can get goofy in a pool, playing around, and it's not about how strong of a swimmer you are. We just had a kid in our county (well, my hometown's county, not where I'm living now) drown this summer who was 12 and on the summer swim team - he and a friend were goofing off in his home pool and the mom was otherwise occupied.

To be clear - I think swimming alone is always risky no matter the ability or age. All kids need the eyes of lifeguards and the parents at pools.
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#12 of 64 Old 08-25-2010, 11:16 AM
 
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I am with a PP that no one should EVER swim alone. ALWAYS have someone near by. Accidents happen, whether you are an olympic swimmer or not. Tripping/slipping and rolling into the pool is possible for anyone, no matter how strong a swimmer they are.

If anyone watching my kids ever let them swim unsupervised, Heads will roll.
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#13 of 64 Old 08-25-2010, 11:25 AM
 
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we've been traveling alot and all the hotel pools have signs saying no swimming alone

i agree w pp, no one swims alone

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#14 of 64 Old 08-25-2010, 11:53 AM
 
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I also don't think ANYONE should ever swim 100% alone. Anyone, adult or child, strong swimmer or only able to be in water they can stand in, should swim with others around. I don't think that any of those others need to be a lifeguard or anything, but to me, it's a safety in numbers thing. It's just like not walking down a dark ally at night alone, even in a safe area.

Now, I think being ALONE is different from being UNSUPERVISED. And to be unsupervised, I think somewhere around 8, 9, or 10, depending on swimming ability. And also depending on just how unsupervised. Group of 8 year olds in the pool in the backyard while mom works in the garden around the side yard, no problem. Two 8 year olds in the pool in the back yard while mom is inside taking a nap, not so much. But, in general, I do agree that at the age of 8, as a strong swimmer, she likely doesn't need mom to sit right there on the deck to watch her.
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#15 of 64 Old 08-25-2010, 11:53 AM
 
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I grew up with an inground pool in the backyard, and the house rule was that NO ONE swam alone, ever. Not the kids, not teenagers, not adults. You never know what might happen to incapacitate someone.
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#16 of 64 Old 08-25-2010, 12:10 PM
 
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Never. No one swims alone.
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#17 of 64 Old 08-25-2010, 12:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by meemee View Post
dd who will be 8 in two weeks is a v. strong swimmer. when is it safe to stop supervising her. she has had a couple of incidents when she freaked out in the pool and figured out herself how to pull herself to the sides. the pool is deep in the middle but shallow on both sides.

i feel she is ready to be left alone, but mama guilt is holding me back. i find i am suffering from separation anxiety.
NO WAY! I'm sorry, but no matter how strong of a swimmer she may be, SOMEONE should be keeping an eye. My two are 16 and 18, and I keep an eye out when they're in the pool. An ADULT shouldn't be swimming alone. My parents still watch out for one another when one is in the pool. I may not be right there, but I make a point of being somewhere where I can check on them very frequently.
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#18 of 64 Old 08-25-2010, 12:40 PM
 
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In our public pool children 8 and older don't have to have a parent in the water with them.

My kids are 8, 5 and 2!
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#19 of 64 Old 08-25-2010, 01:59 PM
 
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Our public pool allows age 5 and up without an adult. It drives me NUTS as it is completely inappropriate.

No one should ever swim alone.

My daughter is also eight, and just the thought of letting her swim unsupervised leaves my skin crawling. I'm a lifeguard and WSI, I have tried to ensure that my daughter was a strong swimmer, and she is, but you can't prevent a cramp or something of that sort by being a strong swimmer.
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#20 of 64 Old 08-25-2010, 02:10 PM
 
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Another vote for never, i keep an eye on DH when we swim and he's 39! I would say at 8 i wouldn't have to be right with her in the water, but certainly right there on the side.
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#21 of 64 Old 08-25-2010, 02:12 PM
 
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I dont swim alone. No one should swim alone.

But, when I was 10 and my brother was 8 we swam unsupervised, together.

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#22 of 64 Old 08-25-2010, 02:22 PM
 
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Wow. Sometimes I wonder how we made it to adulthood alive.

I was raised in Phoenix and we, along with all our friends, had backyard pools.

My siblings and I never thought twice about swimming alone. We were all strong swimmers and sometimes, well, you were the only one who wanted to swim so, you did.

I'm sure my mom would peek out the window at us but, once we were strong swimmers, we were permitted to just go swim without a parent having to sit out in the sun directly watching us.

I don't know what my age limit is because we don't have a pool but, I can't imagine feeling I had to monitor my teenager or even my husband for heavens sakes.

I don't monitor my teen age step son or my husband when they're out driving on the roads and that's way more dangerous than taking a leisurly swim in the pool on your own.

I think it depends upon the child, their level of skill and responsibility. But, I'm guessing by about 12, I wouldn't feel the need to sit out with them and supervise. That's not to say I'd go to bed and leave them in the pool but, if I'm in the house and am able to peek outside on occasion then, I think that's adequate.
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#23 of 64 Old 08-25-2010, 02:28 PM
 
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My daughter wasn't a wonderful swimmer, so I'd have said maybe 10 with a few friends.
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#24 of 64 Old 08-25-2010, 02:30 PM
 
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Wow. Sometimes I wonder how we made it to adulthood alive
Well...the ones who didn't aren't here to post.

The difference between driving on the roads and swimming in a pool is that even on the roads...you aren't ALONE. If you crash, it's incredibly likely that there will be folks who will stop to help or at the very least, call 911.

If you swim alone and something happens, there's no one there to help. In an emergency, be it on the road or in a pool, getting help right away is usually key in preventing disaster. Even if the other person in the water is another 8 year old, that child can at the very least go get someone who can help or call 911. I don't think swimming with someone automatically means that someone has to be there to "supervise" or monitor, just THERE, so that in an emergency help is available or can be reached quickly. Especially since a swimming emergency is usually a silent one. It's not like a car wreck, where even if there isn't another car on the road, there's usually someone near by to hear and investigate.
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#25 of 64 Old 08-25-2010, 02:30 PM
 
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Never. And I don't see the harm in this.
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#26 of 64 Old 08-25-2010, 03:01 PM
 
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Wow. Sometimes I wonder how we made it to adulthood alive.

I don't monitor my teen age step son or my husband when they're out driving on the roads and that's way more dangerous than taking a leisurly swim in the pool on your own.
.
1.) When we know better, we do better. Just because our parents weren't diligent in watching us doesn't mean we shouldn't be with our children. Yeah, my mom also did CIO and I turned out okay, does that mean it's okay too?

2.) According to WHO and Unicef
The Top Five Causes Of Unintentional Injury involving children:
1. Car Accidents: Kill 260,000 children a year and injure about 10 million children. They are the leading cause of death among children and a leading cause of child disability.
 

2. Drowning: Kills more than 175,000 children annually. Up to 3 million children each year survive a drowning incident. Due to brain damage in some survivors, nonfatal drowning has the highest average lifetime health and economic impact of any type of child injury.

We can't always watch them out on the road... we CAN always watch them in a pool.

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#27 of 64 Old 08-25-2010, 03:45 PM
 
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I'll say it again ' 2 SECONDS IS TOO LONG'

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#28 of 64 Old 08-25-2010, 04:32 PM
 
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I started letting DS swim without my "constant" attention at pools with lifeguards at age 7.

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#29 of 64 Old 08-25-2010, 05:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post
The difference between driving on the roads and swimming in a pool is that even on the roads...you aren't ALONE.
Not to mention, if you crash you are still surrounded by oxygen.

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#30 of 64 Old 08-25-2010, 06:24 PM
 
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I agree with never. At least not alone. I could see letting an older teen swim with friends, but again, not all alone.

My 9.5 yo DD has asked to swim with her best friend across the street at her pool when no adults are home. Even though they would have each other, so not alone, there is no way I would be comfortable with that.

It's way too risky, and I don't see any reason for a kid to want mom to give them space and not supervise while swimming. It doesn't mean they are a 'baby', it just means we practice good safety procedures - including not letting anyone swim alone, certainly not a child.

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