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To think DS (4) should wear a life jacket on a canal boat?

(112 Posts)
BoyMeetsWorld Thu 25-Jul-13 20:26:57

Ok, genuinely looking for your opinions as I freely admit I can be a paranoid Mum.

ExP & his parents regularly take our DS (4) on the family canal boat, sometimes just for short trips sometimes for longer holidays. They actively encourage him to help with the locks etc & he has free run. None of the adults onboard can swim (they never learned) & DS told me today that since he putgrew his infant life jacket 2 years ago they haven't bought him a new one.

Am I being unreasonable to expect him to have (& wear) a life jacket?

Would like your thoughts before I raise it with ExP

TiredFeet Thu 25-Jul-13 21:13:06

yanbu. we live by the sea and are both strong swimmers ( and I am a trained lifeguard) and DS is not even allowed down to walk to have a look round his dad's boat unless he is wearing his lifejacket. DH is a professional sailor and a risk taker in his own life (likes extreme sports etc) but there is not a chance he would go out on the water unless DS was wearing his lifejacket. everyone we know has the same rule, and they are all either marine professionals or spend a lot of their time on the water.

Phineyj Thu 25-Jul-13 21:13:25

I actually think the adults should be wearing them too if they can't swim. Falling in while going through a lock is potentially very dangerous.

rememberingnothing Thu 25-Jul-13 21:14:26

When we canoe ALL of us wear life jackets (DDs) or buoyancy aids (DH and I). It's an absolute no brainer.

Jinty16 Thu 25-Jul-13 21:14:34

YANBU. I would also be really uncomfortable with the fact that no one on board can swim.

TimeofChange Thu 25-Jul-13 21:15:25

Even with a life jacket on, they must all be vigilant around locks, as he could be pulled down by the water flow.

I didn't realise how dangerous locks can be until after our family canal holiday.

sukysue Thu 25-Jul-13 21:19:26

Don't be daft love definitely get him one .

stickingattwo Thu 25-Jul-13 21:22:58

Lifejacket ASAP - get a good fitting light one, best money you've ever spent. There should be no question. I sail and as a child wore one till teenage and beyond and I have always been a great swimmer. A child should absolutely wear one on a canal boat. Locks can be very dangerous.

Emilythornesbff Thu 25-Jul-13 21:23:30

And shock that none of the adults can swim.
Really?
Really?
Nutters.

SwishSwoshSwoosh Thu 25-Jul-13 21:26:45

This sounds very risky altogether. What exactly would they do if he fell in?

YANBU, not at all.

Ingles2 Thu 25-Jul-13 21:27:11

Yes he should definitely have one.. I can't believe he doesn't! When I was 10 my best friend fell from a canal boat and drowned... I can remember her funeral very clearly and that was 35 years ago... Canal boats still horrify me..
I would refuse to let him go until he had one tbh.

amyboo Thu 25-Jul-13 21:31:25

YANBU! I grew up spenidng holidays on my parents boat and always wore a life jacket when I was little, and then later a harness (a special one that inflated if you hit he water). A child of 4 should definitely be in a lifejacket.

youbethemummylion Thu 25-Jul-13 21:33:43

From a family of sailors here from dinghys to yachts to ocean liners not one of them let my DS anywhere near the jetty never mind the boat without a lifejacket. He MUST wear one!

exoticfruits Thu 25-Jul-13 21:34:40

YANBU - this must be a record- all in agreement!

FairPhyllis Thu 25-Jul-13 21:34:55

Sailor here. You are absolutely not being unreasonable. DO NOT LET HIM GO if he is not going to wear one. And it MUST be a lifejacket, not a buoyancy aid.

Adults can't swim? Child running around canals without a lifejacket? Wtaf.

TSSDNCOP Thu 25-Jul-13 21:35:17

Locks are horrendously risky. I would never let my child near the mechanics of one.

On and around the boat I would still insist on a life jacket.

Frankly, and I say this rarely as I think if a child is in it's DP's care it's that DPs shout on how the DC is managed, I'd go utterly and totally fucking nuts if 3 non swimmers took my child out on a boat without adequate life saving equipment.

Sod the bloody argument with DP. With a close very young relative that drowned, they'd need to dynamite me off the sodding boat first.

Did I mention YANBU?

Tbh if no one on the boat can swim or has any concept or rescue procedures/first aid, I wouldn't be letting him go even wearing a life jacket.
He's FOUR, even if he's wearing a life jacket if he goes in he's on his own, how on earth so they think he'd get out?

katydid02 Thu 25-Jul-13 21:38:46

Absolutely not unreasonable.

FairPhyllis Thu 25-Jul-13 21:38:59

Just to clarify for anyone reading my post, it is not simply the fact that the adults can't swim that means the child needs a lifejacket. He needs one anyway. But it is an absolutely absurd added level of risk, and OP, you should rip them a new arsehole for taking it.

ToomuchIsBackOnBootcamp Thu 25-Jul-13 21:40:46

I never usually recommend printing off a thread and showing it to ex partners, but in this case, would it help? As I add my voice to the chorus of those saying he definitely should be in a life jacket. Without a single shadow of a doubt. Everyone thinks it won't happen to them. But it could.

katydid02 Thu 25-Jul-13 21:41:59

My DCs are learning to be life guards/doing life saving skills training, they are both excellent swimmers. They would wear a life jacket. When doing the open water training all of the coaches on the water in canoes and kayaks wore life jackets despite being surrounded by about 30 people capable of rescuing them.
No life jacket, no water excursions.

Edendance Thu 25-Jul-13 21:42:47

Life jacket not buoyancy aid, anyone can slip.

MsMunch Thu 25-Jul-13 21:44:21

Ynbu, but really I wouldn't let him go with such poor care. One stumble and he would drown, it is so hard to get even a small person back out of the water for a strong swimmer. Someone else here who sails and would never take the risk.

Edendance Thu 25-Jul-13 21:45:09

http://www.lifejackets.co.uk/products/428/harveys-100n-ce-approved-kids-foam-lifejacket

Job done.

whois Thu 25-Jul-13 21:45:37

I am pretty relaxed about safety, but would def want him wearing a life jacket! V easy to slip in to the dock and with three non swimmers there supervising that would be a disaster!

MsMunch Thu 25-Jul-13 21:46:49

And if he does go I would buy the life jacket myself... So I knew it was a life jacket not a buoyancy aid and that it was correctly sized.

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