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To think Health and Safety has gone mad.

(12 Posts)
youarekidding Sun 07-Aug-11 13:07:07

Friend and I decided to take 5 DC's to an inflatable swimming session at leisure centre yesterday.

They have a large walk along inflatable and then a few surf board type floats. There aren't really any alternatives to the inflatable and during public sessions in the holidays they get the floats out anyway.

There is no information available on brochure or website about session restrictions etc. We rang up and said we had 5 DC's, 6,6,7,12 and 13 yo. We asked if the session was suitable for them and if they could use the large inflatable. We were told they had to be strong swimmers (swim 25m length) and under 8's must be accompanied by an adult in the pool. All but a 6yo is so we decided to go as she doesn't like deep end so wouldn't have wanted to use it anyway. It is more expensive than a normal swim.

So we get there and order the tickets, to be told the 12yo is too tall to use the inflatable. Admittedly she is 5"7 but they hadn't said there was a height limit on the phone. The 13yo is about 2cm over but he's OK as he's only just over. hmm Apparently it's for insurance purposes but a little doesn't matter. confused

A group of girls were behind us who were just coming as a group as one of thems birthday and an 11yo in the group was 3cm over and after much persuasion of the parent she was allowed in and on the inflatable.

We spoke to centre manager and were allowed the 12yo free of charge but not to use the inflatable.

Basically this used to be the most popular session at the pool, people queuing outside the door from 1/2 hour before session to get in. Now it's very quiet.

To use the inflatable you must be able to swim a length well (so on average probably age 8 up and under 150cm so on average under 12 yo.

AIBU to think they need to find a swimming session that is more inclusive, and useful for families!, or at least have this information available so people don't turn up and be disappointed?

I am hoping to get some good suggestions from MNers so I can suggest them for our centre.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sun 07-Aug-11 13:10:12

Is it all new stuff? They'll get themselves in knots with all those restrictions and work out that they need to be much clearer.

squeakytoy Sun 07-Aug-11 13:10:30

They didnt know you had an exceptionally tall 12yo, so you should really have asked if there were height restrictions. 5'7" is adult size, so I can see their point there to be honest.

youarekidding Sun 07-Aug-11 14:36:29

But the average sized 11 and 13yo were also too tall. But they let them on it. hmm

It's not new. It's the same type of inflatable they have had for years - and I mean years as I used to go to the sessions and I'm 30 now. grin Obviously they have replaced the inflatable. We used to be able to use it at 15/16yo. I can see why they no longer just let as many people as can on at once and squirt people on it with water from a hose trying to knock them off. grin Yesterday a girl slipped off and went under the inflatable and the lifeguard had to jump in and get her. sad They allow 2 at a time as there is 2 sides and have 3 lifeguards. One each side and one supervising the children getting on.

I agree squeaky It is adult sized. But they said there was no age restriction, really most children over the age of 13 are going to be too tall as only 1.5m and below are allowed. So the restriction of being able to swim is not the only restriction, and they should have said there was a height restriction not an age one.

I think they need a height limit - and stick to it and also some better alternative inflatables. This a inflatable session after all that you pay extra to attend. Perhaps some blow up crocs/ bananas and/or some more differning floats? They always give you a feed back form when you go to the centre and I would like to give some helpful suggestions? I know the mum who had taken the girls for her DD's birthday was shocked it wasn't suitable for the whole party of 11yos.

CardyMow Sun 07-Aug-11 14:37:48

150cm??!! DS1 is 9.4yo and 147cm! FFS. Bloody height restrictions piss me off. DS1 & DS2 really want to go to soft play, and I can't take them. The height restriction is SOOOO unfair if you have tall dc. There is a height limit of 135cm at ALL the soft play areas in my town, they say that's up to 12 years old, but DS2 is 7.9yo and has just hit 135cm. So despite only being 7 and 9, they cannot go to soft play to run off some energy. Yet my friends 11yo can happily still play because he is only 133cm. Why can't they just have an AGE limit??

youarekidding Sun 07-Aug-11 17:37:32

Exactly loudlass I would have thought a small 16yo was more of a 'risk' than a tall 12yo. The 12yo would have played the same way as the other 11-13yo - she is just taller.

Sorry to hear you are having similar problems. My friends other DD is tall at 1.35m and only 7 but is working to her advantage at the inute as looks 8yo and can get on rides with her sister that her peers can't.

evenlessnarkypuffin Sun 07-Aug-11 17:57:27

It's not health and safety related it's about what their insurance will cover and avoiding being sued.

youarekidding Sun 07-Aug-11 19:41:15

Yes they said insurance is for up to that height due to health and safety. Which is why we were surprised they let children slightly taller on, one was 13yo. Surely they are or aren't insured for children above that height.

sims2fan Sun 07-Aug-11 19:48:30

Loudlass - I agree totally. I was a very tall child (had hit my adult height of 5"7 by age 12 so wouldn't have been allowed on the inflatable either) and I remember a few occasions when I wasn't allowed on play equipment because I was too tall. I also found that people's expectations of tall children tend to be higher than children who are 'little and cute.' When you're tall you're not allowed to act like the young child you are because people expect you to be 'a big sensible grown up girl.' I am hoping that if I have kids that they won't be too tall for their age but I've married a man who was also a tall child and who is now 6"5 so I think any children we have will also have limited use of play equipment, etc!

youarekidding Sun 07-Aug-11 21:00:57

I actually had the opposite problem. I was really tiny (now 5"7) and my sister (3 years younger) was always very tall for her age. She's now 5"9. She was atually taller than me from when she was 8 and I was 11yo. Often I missed out doing things I was old enough for as too short but my mum allowed my sister to lie about her age as she was tall enough. Can you tell it still pisses me off now. grin

One advantage is saving money on car seats as they don't need them from 1.35m.

LunaticFringe Sun 07-Aug-11 21:03:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ShellyBoobs Sun 07-Aug-11 22:04:11

If there wasn't such a propensity for claiming compensation over the slightest accident these days, the rules would probably be much more flexible.

Sad but true.

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