Leaving DC out in the garden...

(82 Posts)
MrsWolowitz Sat 27-Jul-13 12:51:34

DH think IABU. I think he is being irresponsible. We will go with the wisdom of MN on this as we cannot agree.

We have 3 DC. DD1 is 4 and DTs are 2. Our garden is at the back of our house and our lounge is at the front of the house.

DH leaves the DC in the garden while he sits in the lounge. I hate it when he does this and I don't do it, I think they need to be watched.

We have a paddling pool (shallow but still a possible danger), a trampoline they can fall off, a garage full of tools and paint that they can access from the garden and there's also the (unlikely) risk of someone taking the kids from the garden.

AIBU to think they shouldn't be left unattended in the garden?

magimedi Sat 27-Jul-13 12:52:44

YANBU - with a paddling pool you must watch them.

MrsWolowitz Sat 27-Jul-13 12:52:54

Also he doesn't leave them for a few minutes while he has a wee or something, he leaves them out here while he is playing on the computer or watching TV.

squeakytoy Sat 27-Jul-13 12:53:04

the four year old would be fine, but leaving toddlers completely unattended is not good.. why can he not sit in the garden with them?

breadandhoney Sat 27-Jul-13 12:58:20

Absolutely unacceptable. With a paddling pool your eyes really should've be off them. Without a paddling pool I would still be within sight and earshot.

YANBU. He is.

livinginwonderland Sat 27-Jul-13 12:58:55

With a pool, YANBU.

DuchessFanny Sat 27-Jul-13 12:59:03

YANBU ... Our DC have all managed to bump heads, poke eyes, break stuff in our presence, so accidents happen whether you are there watching over them or not ... However an unaccompanied ( even if shallow) paddling pool is a definite no no for me ! As is an accessible garage ... Are they able to get out of the garden ? We thought our now teen couldn't as a 4 year old, until he was returned to us by a worried neighbour who'd found him wandering the main road -- and I'd only gone in the house to answer the phone -- a mere minute and he was off !! (( still buggers off now !))

freezation Sat 27-Jul-13 12:59:40

YADNBU. I wouldn't leave a 2 year old in the bath on their own and the same goes for a paddling pool.

mummymeister Sat 27-Jul-13 13:01:35

don't do it. not if you have a paddling pool as it is really easy for kids to drown in a teeny tiny amount of water. very unlikely as you say that someone will take them out of the garden but the risk of them picking up mud, stones and putting them in their mouths at 2 is pretty real. can he really not sit in the garden with his computer. in effect if you aren't actually out there watching them then he is leaving the 4 year old to do this. would you go to a play world place and leave them there on their own? no. so why do it in the back garden. unfortunately familiarity breeds complacency and that is why the most accidents happen in the home. 4 or 5 on their own in the garden yes. 2 a big fat no from me.

AgentZigzag Sat 27-Jul-13 13:01:36

YANBU, he's just wanting an easy time of it, which is understandable, but it's not fair to put the responsibility of 2 2 YO's onto a 4 YO, which is what he's doing.

bigkidsdidit Sat 27-Jul-13 13:01:45

Not with a pool. I leave my 2.5yo while I cook lunch but no pool and no tools out.

Readallaboutit1 Sat 27-Jul-13 13:02:07

YADNBU, I would be furious if anyone done this whilst my DC were in there care.

nurseneedshelp Sat 27-Jul-13 13:03:37

I dealt with a cadiac arrest yesterday, an 18 month old that drowned in the garden pond.

The parents were inside whilst their DD was left to her own devices.

She sadly died, I can't imagine what the poor family are going through.

Can't get the image of the poor girl out of my head.

Your DH needs a kick up his arse for being so complacent.

Montybojangles Sat 27-Jul-13 13:03:41

YANBU, he is. Very.

Why did he want to be a dad if he can't be bothered to play with them and would rather watch tv, or play on the computer?

JollyHolidayGiant Sat 27-Jul-13 13:04:08

I leave my 2yo in the garden regularly. But our garden is much safer than yours. No pool, no trampoline and our shed is locked if he's out there by himself.

yummumto3girls Sat 27-Jul-13 13:04:41

Depends how secure your garden is and how safe it is. I wouldn't leave the 2 year olds unattended at all but would have to be very confident that 4 year old could not get out.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Sat 27-Jul-13 13:06:14

YANBU. Especially with the paddling pool and other potential dangers you mention. Also I think 4 is too young to take responsibility of 2 other children.
I allow my children (aged 6 and 3)to play out in our garden alone, however not if the paddling pool is out, and our garden is childproofed. I also sit in the lounge (at the back of the house near the garden) with the door open. I am just feet away from them, and I check on them every 10 minutes or so.

edlyu Sat 27-Jul-13 13:07:44

This is from Mumsnet child safety things you need to know.
1. Drowning
Children drown without making a sound or splashing. They sink silently while waiting for someone to come and help. It almost goes without saying, but we'll say it anyway - children should always be supervised when in swimming pools or in the sea. Very young children can drown in less than 2in (6cm) of water - a sink, toilet bowl, fountain, bucket, inflatable pool or even a rainwater-filled ditch could be fatal. And 15% of child drowning deaths in the UK occur while children are bathing - often due to being unsupervised for only the briefest of moments.

This is the main thing he should be taking into account when he decides that the thing he is doing in the lounge is more important that his childrens safety.

And this article gives more information about why you should never ever take your eyes from children near water

SleepyFish Sat 27-Jul-13 13:09:27

I agree, he is being irresponsible, especially so because of the paddling pools/access to garage. I used to let mine out on his own at 2 but i was always able to see/hear him as lounge/kitchen overlooked garden which was small/secure and child friendly.
Hopefully you'll get lots of replies then you can show him this thread.

With a pool they need to be within sight at all times. It's frighteningly easy for a toddler to drown in even a couple of inches of water. The trampoline similarly.

The pool would be a nono without direct supervision

The garage should be inaccessible to the children really

He is being a lazy git and behaving quite badly

Do you huff and puff and then take over? Natural ofc, because you want your children to be safe. He then gets off parenting duties.

Happy to be wrong, natch

KristinaM Sat 27-Jul-13 13:10:54

My children receive less supervision than about 90% of those on mumsnet.

But when my toddlers were in a paddling pool I was right beside them.

Ifyou can't trust your husband to be in the garden beside them , give away the paddling pool .

SleepyFish Sat 27-Jul-13 13:14:57

Oh nurse, that's awful.sad
You here these stories every summer.

BackforGood Sat 27-Jul-13 13:18:39

If he wants to leave them unattended (really ? who can with 2 yr olds ?) then he neds to make the garden a LOt safer for them at the very least.
I'm generally pretty laid back on the 'WWYD?' /Parenting type threads, but there's no way I would expect 2 yr olds to play unsupervised.

ZolaBuddleia Sat 27-Jul-13 13:20:58

I'm pretty relaxed about safety, but the trampoline (assuming it's a big one) and the pool would mean I'd supervise too.

AgentZigzag Sat 27-Jul-13 13:21:30

That's terrible nurse (without detracting from the parents, terrible for you too), and why getting rid of the pond was the first thing we did moving in here with 2 YO DD.

NoComet Sat 27-Jul-13 13:30:36

A six year-old and four year-old year is one thing and even then I'd worry about a pool.

4 and two 2 year-olds is quite another.

They are too small, except possibly in a small garden with no hazards at all and a locked gate.

We have a big garden that is difficult to see most of from the house.

I either sat out there or got the DDs to play outside the kitchen window so I could see them.

When they were older, I tended to insist they both went out together so at least one of them could run in if the other piled off the trampoline or the swing.

In fact that didn't totally work as the once DD2 did limp in hurt, DS1 said it didnt count.

It wasn't an accident, she had been being silly. Sometimes child logic defeats me.

Nanny0gg Sat 27-Jul-13 13:30:57

Even if you didn't have all your listed hazards, I wouldn't leave a 2 year-old in a garden without supervision/being in ear- and eye-shot.

He is being lazy at best and negligent at worst.

Read him this thread.

NoComet Sat 27-Jul-13 13:31:11

DD1 (I don't have a DS)

Wossname Sat 27-Jul-13 13:32:32

I think it's pretty shit parenting really. Selfish, irresponsible, stupid.

MrsWolowitz Sat 27-Jul-13 14:17:18

I've shown him this thread.

He was initially defensive and a bit hmm

Then he read about that poor little girl that died yesterday. He's changed his tune now and said that he has just had a kick up the backside.

He agrees that he shouldn't leave them again his quote is "say to them, thank you MN, you are right"

He's also drained the paddling pool.

Thanks all.

AgentZigzag Sat 27-Jul-13 14:23:50

Awww, you've got a good 'un there MrsW smile

Mumsyblouse Sat 27-Jul-13 14:26:13

It's hard to imagine what might happen sometimes and my husband thinks I'm a neurotic mother and over some things I am, but not over water. Good on your husband for listening.

Viviennemary Sat 27-Jul-13 14:29:42

I didn't think I was over-protected but wouldn't leave small children unattended especially with a paddling pool. And certainly not two year olds under any circumstances.

SwishSwoshSwoosh Sat 27-Jul-13 14:31:33

Oh so pleased he listened!

youarewinning Sat 27-Jul-13 14:33:24

Well I came to say your DH WBVU. But I have to take my hat off to him now for accepting that and changing his parenting. Sometimes it just takes anothers opinion to see the bigger picture.

nurse sad

burberryqueen Sat 27-Jul-13 14:36:19

good on him for listening...

lljkk Sat 27-Jul-13 14:51:47

He's also drained the paddling pool.

So he can sit in the lounge without supervising them after all, right?

throckenholt Sat 27-Jul-13 15:12:04

Speaking from the experience of having twins myself, he should know that you can't leave toddler twins unsupervised - even if they don't damage themselves they can cause havoc in a very short time. Mix in a 4 year old, and a garage full of tools, trampoline, and paddling pool and something is going to go wrong !

It is a tough few years - but you do need to be hands - and it really won't be long until they are more responsible.

MCos Sat 27-Jul-13 15:13:05

While he's at it, get him to put a lock on the shed and lock away all the paint and tools. And put a safety net and steps on the trampoline.

But at 2 yrs old, I'd still supervise them.

AnnabelleLee Sat 27-Jul-13 15:15:31

you're right, but seriously you might want to look at making the place safer anyway, it sounds like its rather dangerous.

maja00 Sat 27-Jul-13 15:17:34

I've left my DS unsupervised in the garden from 2. I doubt anyone is going to take him from the garden, he can't get onto the street and the shed is locked.

I wouldn't leave him unsupervised with a paddling pool though.

valiumredhead Sat 27-Jul-13 15:18:19

Fine without the pool, but NEVER with one.

Nanny0gg Sat 27-Jul-13 15:21:06


Is this the first time a DH has read a thread and changed his tune?

Well done OP's DH!!

(And I'd still never leave 2-year olds unsupervised, even in a padded room they'd get up to something!!)

Wossname Sat 27-Jul-13 15:22:57

Oh, how very reasonable of him. I retract my previously arsey response blush

Big hugs nurseneedshelp. Sounds like a shit day at the office sad (not deliberately flippant - also work in healthcare and have seen similarly awful things at work)

Op - show your dh her post. Sod the rest. This is why he's unreasonable. You just cannot leave kids this small unsupervised with water, or indeed with tools.

While the paddling pool is there they should not be out of his sight. If then try to make the rest safer, maybe put a lock on the garage and any gates you have. Then it would be fine for them to be on their own if he needed to pop in and get something for a couple of minutes but a flat no to watching Telly or playing computer games at the other end of the house.

To leave then as he is the younger ones need to be a couple if years older imho

kilmuir Sat 27-Jul-13 15:24:54

He is an idiot

Don't know how I missed the whole second page of this thread!

To op dh well done for listening and taking it on the chin!

SleepyFish Sat 27-Jul-13 15:29:58

Glad your DH has seen sense, sad that it took another child dying for this to happen though. He must have heard these stories before.

HappyMummyOfOne Sat 27-Jul-13 16:17:18

YANBU, even without the dangers of the pool etc there is no way id let 2 and 4 year olds play out alone.

Glad he has changed his mind although sad he had to be told by so many others first.

MrsMook Sat 27-Jul-13 16:45:31

My 2yr old free-flows into the garden from the conservatory in the warm weather, but our garden is very safe and flat with less opportnities for mischief than the house. I've avoided getting a paddling pool because of the need for constant supervision. I'd get the garage secured to make it safer.

Glad he reacted to the feedback.

MammaTJ Sat 27-Jul-13 16:52:17

Definitely do not LTB! grin

You were of course right, they are too little to be unsupervised. Glad he has listened.

MrsWolowitz Sat 27-Jul-13 17:12:48

I've read him all the replies and he's a bit sheepish!

Really hopes he doesn't do it again. He's a bit of an MN fan now! I reckon he'll be getting me to seek MN advice in the future! grin

Flicktheswitch Sat 27-Jul-13 17:16:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Flicktheswitch Sat 27-Jul-13 17:17:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RoxyFox211 Sat 27-Jul-13 17:20:16

If he can see them from lounge window Yabu. If not, he is.

MoominsYonisAreScary Sat 27-Jul-13 17:24:07

Glad he listened, my cousins 2 year old drowned in their swimming pool a few years ago. They'd been in the pool so the cover was off, the 12 yo took him into the house, my cousin followed with the baby twins and in that time the 2 yo had ran round to the other door and gone back outside.

She noticed he was gone straight away but it was too late, he spent 2 days on life support before they turned it off. It takes seconds for them to drown.

GherkinsAreAce Sat 27-Jul-13 17:29:08

Very sad to hear nurses story and yours, moomin sad

Another point is the risk from poisoning - my DS would happily chew all kinds of leaves, flowers or berries and this is why I have to keep him with me in the garden!

Summerblaze Sat 27-Jul-13 17:29:47

Trampoline should have a guard around it anyway.
Garage should be locked.

I would still supervise at 2yo with these security measures in place but wouldn't be overly concerned if others chose not to.

The pool is a definite no no though. My 5yo was dunking my 1 yo under the other day. Obviously I was there to stop him but if I wasn't then who knows what would have happened.

I am very conscious about water.

mrsjay Sat 27-Jul-13 17:30:57

I wouldnt leave the twins for any length of time tbh you are right they should be watched not constantly though but going back and forward should be enough and empty the paddiling pool unless you are there it really is irresponsible to leave them unattended, I am sure your DH thinks they are safe but a look outside every so often wouldnt hurt him, IMO the 4 yr old is fine playing out

YANBU due to the paddling pool.
If that was not there and the garden was childproofed and escape proof I'd be happy to leave them unattended for short periods of time.

nurseneedshelp Sun 28-Jul-13 08:59:18

I'm so so glad he's seen sense op!

We sadly deal with about three toddler drownings each summer, paddling pool or ponds. Mostly fatal.
It's difficult to watch their every move when the back door is left open all the time when its so hot.

it's the worse part of my job and I can't wait to get home to snuggle up to my own DC after I've dealt with a child's death.

Glad he's listened to you!

MiaowTheCat Sun 28-Jul-13 09:08:34

The garden supervision thing is the reason we put a summerhouse with a cane sofa in there out in the garden. Means if needs be we CAN sit out and supervise with a laptop on the wifi network and watch TV or whatever in a bit more comfort than the average garden chair.

If we ever get the bloody patio doors fixed so they open properly we have that option as well.

But nope I wouldn't leave a pair of 2 year olds to play unsupervised anyway - the ability of small children to find new and interesting ways to injure themselves never ceases to amaze.

Oblomov Sun 28-Jul-13 09:13:31

Am wondering about all these people that never leave their kids unsupervised? I did and I do.
Not witha paddling pool, obviously. But many seemed shocked at him leaving them .
I cook hover and all sorts. My lounge, dinning room, kitchen , patio doors to garden, are all perfectly safe. And the worst my 2 have ever done , was a crayon mosaic on the wall, that Mozart would have been proud of. To which, I yelped and then yelled.
Why do they need to be watched? What harm is going to come to them.
Maybe your hour houses are unsafe and yours need to be constantly monitored.
But mine ( house and dc's ) aren't !!

NotYoMomma Sun 28-Jul-13 09:16:02

at those ages no way. I will leave dd (18mo) in the garden with her 10 year old cousin and no pool! for 5 mins! and I'll be secretly watching from the kitchen window lol

lljkk Sun 28-Jul-13 09:17:56

I think the pool & twin factor complicates things a lot, the twin parents speak with superior experience to us. I am not parent to twins but there are loads in my family & the stories about stuff they got up to, like 4 armed monsters, really.

lougle Sun 28-Jul-13 09:47:36

We leave the children (7, 5, 4) in the paddling pool, but we set it up directly outside the lounge window and if the duck out of sight I call out to them. No response sees me running.

hollyisalovelyname Sun 28-Jul-13 09:58:43

Paddling pool... unsupervised children.... Is he mad?

VikingLady Sun 28-Jul-13 10:34:57

I moved a laptop table to just by the back door so I can MN work whilst keeping an eye on DD (16m). It means I can run the power cable through the kitchen window, out of the way. Perhaps your DH could do that?

mrsjay Sun 28-Jul-13 10:41:49

I think lljkk has it spot on little 2 yr old twins on their own could be a disaster waiting to happen the parents I know with twins need about 4 pairs of eyes grin

rainbowbrite1980 Sun 28-Jul-13 11:09:10

I am pretty relaxed, and I do leave my DC's in the garden. They are 5, 3 and 1. I stay in the kitchen where I can see them if the one year old is out there, but not the other 2. I wouldn't leave the one year old out there with a paddling pool, but the other 2 are definitely sensible enough.

nurseneedshelp Sun 28-Jul-13 19:15:51

Can't folk get a away from their laptops for a little while and actually play with their kids on the garden?

Unbelievable that people need to set up in summer houses/run cables onto their patios!

valiumredhead Sun 28-Jul-13 19:21:17

Nurse-my Dh is working out in the garden on his lap top while ds plays basket ball. Better then being holed up in his office surely?

soverylucky Sun 28-Jul-13 19:21:28

I am surprised by some responses here. I wouldn't leave any child under about 8 outside with a paddling pool unsupervised. Play in the garden unsupervised - yes from quite a young age but the paddling pool is a very big issue for me.

LemonBreeland Sun 28-Jul-13 19:27:31

Absolutely no way wiyh a paddling pool in the garden.

nurseneedshelp Sun 28-Jul-13 19:46:11

Valium- please don't think I'm here to judge, I've never had to work from home so no idea what that is like!

valiumredhead Sun 28-Jul-13 22:40:43

You need to get good at multi taskinggrin

countrymummy13 Sun 28-Jul-13 23:07:08

You should NEVER EVER leave children alone with access to any kind of collected water. Not even for a few seconds. Every year children die through accidental drowning. I'm horrified you would even think of doing that.

If you intend to leave the DC in the garden then the paddling pool needs to be drained.

Aside from the pool, whether or not to leave them in the garden depends on how safe your garden is.

My DD is 3 and I've let her play in the garden on her own since 2. But only when I can see her. I've also made sure all dangers are out of harms way and that the garden is secure (she can't get out, others could get in).

I personally don't think it reasonable or responsible to leave small children in the garden out of sight.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 28-Jul-13 23:13:10

I think they should be supervised and within sight of an adult.
Why doesn't he sit outside with them. Neither me nor dh would have dreamt of doing this your dh is totally unreasonable and irresponsible.

SirBoobAlot Sun 28-Jul-13 23:27:32

DS is allowed to play in the garden by himself. But I tend to be in the room next door (very odd lay out of my bungalow, garden backs off the conservatory, which backs off my bedroom) and we don't have the paddling pool out.

He is being vvv unreasonable in the lay out you have described.

sweetiepie1979 Sun 28-Jul-13 23:59:36

What's he doing watching tv mid day? Lazy sod! Can't he potter in the garden read a boon in the garden even? He's not setting a v good example. I have a 2 year old who plays in garden I'm not there constantly I'm in and out with washing and tidying etc. tell him to get of his ass.

possum18 Mon 29-Jul-13 01:00:25

YANBU my 2yo godson gets into all sorts of trouble even when I go for a quick wee!! I dread to think of the mayhem he could cause with a partner in crime!! Double trouble!!

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