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AIBU to think that MIL's pool house should be kept locked during the time ds(4) visits?

(36 Posts)
HopeForTheBest Thu 30-Jun-11 09:52:16

It is a large, indoor pool with no shallow end, and is directly accessable from both the house and the garden.
Ds and ds will be visiting her for a weekend while I am away. On previous visits, I have always felt that MIL is not particularly bothered about the pool, and has a very relaxed "oh we'll keep an eye on him" attitude. Dh seems fine about it.

I am not generally a worrier, and I am usually able to assess risks and then decide whether ds can do something (ie NOT very pfb). However, I keep thinking that it would be very easy for him to wander into there, as I said it is easily accessable from both the house and the garden, and basically if he fell in he would not have a chance.

To be fair, when not in use, the pool is covered with a plastic sheeting. I do not think it would hold up much more than a beach ball though, if you pushed on it.

MIL also has an uncovered garden pond which I know from bitter experience is surprisingly deep (not realising it was there last winter when we visited and everything was covered in snow, I walked across the garden, fell through the ice and ended up hip-deep in freezing water. It was not a nice experience...and now I come to think of it, perhaps is colouring my judgement on the whole thing).

Am I being a bit overly-cautious? I am panicking just thinking about it, which is very unlike me.

worraliberty Thu 30-Jun-11 09:54:14

It only takes the turn of a key to solve the problem so YANBU

bubblecoral Thu 30-Jun-11 09:54:52


If it can be locked, it's not much to sk for peace of mind and the potential to save your child's life.

GwendolineMaryLacey Thu 30-Jun-11 09:57:22

YANBU. I never understand people who are so casual about safety. It's so simple to sort and, if she's that unconcerned about it, I would wonder how concerned she'd be watching your ds when he's in her care.

Ormirian Thu 30-Jun-11 09:57:51

YANBU. Simple solution to ease your worries.

Now if you have demanded they filled the pool in or emptied it for the visit you would be

Deliaskis Thu 30-Jun-11 09:58:43

Well, it doesn't sound like a lot to ask, but equally, if you are worried about him 'just wandering in there', then you can hopefully explain to him that he must never go in there without a grown up. He's old enough (I think?) to understand that some places are out of bounds.


debka Thu 30-Jun-11 10:00:32

YANBU. My M&D built a tall fence around their pool as soon as DD was born.

itisnearlysummer Thu 30-Jun-11 10:00:36


Weigh up the cost/benefit of her locking/not locking the door.

The benefit is not having to lock a door.

The cost doesn't bear thinking about.

It's a no brainer!

Smellslikecatpee Thu 30-Jun-11 10:01:37

Actually the cover on it makes it even more dangerous, sorry to add to your worries.

How old is he?

itisnearlysummer Thu 30-Jun-11 10:01:52

Deliaskis - 4 is generally old enough to understand that places are out of bounds. But sometimes 4 year olds get curious.... smile

MilyP Thu 30-Jun-11 10:03:49


I think it would be fair enough to ask the MIL to lock it. She could keep an eye out but an accident could happen before she noticed he was missing.

You could explain it is out of bounds too, but potentially making the temptation to go in even greater.

ddubsgirl Thu 30-Jun-11 10:05:47

either she locks the doors or they dont stay and they need to cover the pond too,no way any of my kids would have stayed if someone had a pool/pond that isnt covered or locked.
Ask her what if ds got up in the night,hes not at home so even at 4 may get confused and wanders around the house?falls in,would she ever forgive herself?

DeWe Thu 30-Jun-11 10:09:09

The cover is to keep the heat in, not for safety. Unless there's a rigid net over the top too, the cover actually makes it more dangerous as if they go in, they will sink under the cover and not be able to get out easily. The nets are a pain to put in but will support a child on top.

aldiwhore Thu 30-Jun-11 10:09:53

YANBU... an the cover could actually decrease any chance of survival so its worse that its covered imo! Doors should be locked.

The pond would worry me too, BUT if a child is supervised in the garden at all times then I do think its something that becomes a 'risk' rather than a danger. We don't have a fire guard and have a fire most nights, but we've always been extrememly vigilant with supervising the children.

A swimming pool is different in that its so easily accessible to a wandering child, if they can reach it from the house. If I were your MIL I'd be locking the doors to relieve the stress on myself if anything!

Deliaskis Thu 30-Jun-11 10:11:44

I know they get curious, and I would see no reason why he shouldn't know what is there, and even see it, but be told in no uncertain terms that he must never go in there without a grown up, and if he wants to go in there, he must always ask Granny/whoever if they can take him.

I know it's a simple step for the GPs to lock the door, and I'm not saying they shouldn't, just that the 4yr old is also old enough to understand that he's not allowed in there alone, and really is also old enough to understand he shouldn't go near water alone.

The locking the door approach is ensuring the child's safety, but not teaching him anything in the long run. If you go for a day at the beach, you can't lock the door to the sea. If the OP is saying she wouldn't trust the GP to take her son to the beach or to keep an eye on him in the house, then that's kind of another question, about whether the GP is an appropriate carer for the child.

I do agree though it is simple to just lock the door, but also think it shouldn't be necessary.


woopsidaisy Thu 30-Jun-11 10:13:28

My ILs have an outdoor,heated pool. The built a wooden fence around it and a gate which is locked unless someone is in with the kids.
FIL can be a little forgetful about the gate,but MIL gives him a right talking to if he forgets.
This issue needs to be discussed-it just is not worth taking the risk!

elphabadefiesgravity Thu 30-Jun-11 10:13:40

YANBU. My parents have an indoor pool with access from a utility./shower room and the patio doors. The patio doors are kept locked and the door leading from the shower room is locked and a hefty clothes maid put in front of the door.

startail Thu 30-Jun-11 10:15:19

Locked, new pool covers are marked "Danger of Drowning". this isn't a joke, good swimmers can panic and get caught under pool covers never mind 4 yearolds.

Fennel Thu 30-Jun-11 10:16:35

yanbu, I wouldn't send them for a weekend if there's an unlocked pool and a casual granny. My parents are like that, too casual about safety, round roads and rivers, it's not such a big deal as the dc get bigger and can be responsible themselves, but it used to be a problem, so we were a bit careful about what we let the grandparents do with the dc.

4yo a bit young to be totally sensible, I think.

pigletmania Thu 30-Jun-11 10:18:48

Sorry it would have to be door locked or he does not go without you. I don't think you can trust them to watch him all the time, and you would deepl regret if anything happens. I can't understand why they can't do a simple act of turning a key in a lock or fitting one. With that approach I would seriously not leave him there in their care. He is still 4 only young and curious. It only takes one stumble and he falls I

HopeForTheBest Thu 30-Jun-11 10:19:35

Oh yes, I have explained on previous visits that it could be dangerous if he fell in. Ds is not particularly interested in or bothered by the pool, so I probably am being overly cautious. And Dh will be there with him! Yet somehow I feel like in this particular case I am watching out more than he is (they regularly go off and do all sorts of potentially dangerous things together eg biking, but I know that he will look after him and don't worry at all).

I am just picturing the scene where dh is playing around on his laptop or has nodded off, MIL is doing something like cooking or having to pander to her DP, ds is playing and wanders off to explore a bit....nobody would notice, would they?
Oh, even writing it down I sound paranoid and mistrustful. Aaaarrgghh!!!

It makes no sense, I was on another thread recently explaining that ds will be walking to and from Kindergarten on his own from the age of 5 (as is NORMAL here in Germany) and that I have absolutely no problem with it whatsoever, even though it involves walking next to, and crossing, a main road.
So I quite clearly think that ds is as sensible and "mature" as a 4yo possibly can be....yet this pool thing utterly freaks me out.

melikalikimaka Thu 30-Jun-11 10:21:28


Let me tell you, my son (3yrs) fell into my sisters garden pond when we went to her house after she had just moved in. She didn't tell me there was a pond hidden up the top of her new garden, so we just let him wonder around the garden. It wasn't until he emerged covered in algea from it, we realised. It was a bad moment, my DH was furious. He could of drowned as it was behind a large shrub. I tried to laugh it off as we dressed him in dry girls clothes to go home in. When I think of it now, I shudder.

It can happen so easily, you have to have eyes in the back of your head.

MooMooFarm Thu 30-Jun-11 10:26:41

YANBU - definitely not. Locking the door doesn't cause your inlaws any hassle, so why wouldn't they agree to it? It keeps their beloved grandchildren safe and their DIL happy.

I am a worrier too (although how anybody with children isn't a worrier is beyond me...) so I have to say that I would be concerned generally by your MIL's 'casual' approach - ie even if she says she'll keep it locked, will she definitely do it, or must maybe, when she gets around to it?

Our children are the most precious things we will ever have - please don't feel bad about wanting to protect yours.

Pootles2010 Thu 30-Jun-11 10:26:54

YANBU. Its not that you're being judgemental, that's just what kids are like, they wander off. It really must be locked - you need to really put your foot down over this one.

aldiwhore Thu 30-Jun-11 10:28:58

I think that everyone is more relaxed 'at home' so dangers on the beach, on roads etc are easier to drum into children... at home, lost in daydreams, relaxed, you take your eye off the ball.

I don't know why the swimming pool would freak me out more than an uncovered pond.

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