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Pond in nursery garden?

(34 Posts)
Queen0fFeckingEverything Wed 10-Jul-13 19:37:47

My friend and I were chatting to someone at a toddler group today who mentioned in passing that one of the reasons they'd decided against the nursery attached to one of the local primary schools was that there is a pond in the nursery garden.

I thought that was a bit OTT at first but the HV who attends the group was listening, and she confirmed that there is indeed a completely uncovered and unfenced pond in the 'green area' of the nursery garden. Apparently it is in an area the children are always supervised in but its not actually separated from the rest of the grounds, its just a little wild corner type area with some bushes round it, so there's nothing to stop the children from getting to it if they want to.

Is that ok? I thought CMs couldn't be registered if they had a pond with no cover/fence, but are schools different?

TiggyD Wed 10-Jul-13 21:01:24

I think ofsted say that ponds need to be safe, and leave it up to the setting to decide what safe is. I wouldn't be happy with a pond with no cover over it.

BrawToken Wed 10-Jul-13 21:03:27

As long as it is supervised, I would think it is safe enough.

Justforlaughs Wed 10-Jul-13 21:05:07

It wouldn't bother me, but I can see why it might bother some other parents.

quoteunquote Wed 10-Jul-13 21:17:41

Get a raised dome cover with wide grid made for it, any local blacksmith will give you a quote, children then can still get stuck in, and those who worry will feel calmer.

McNewPants2013 Wed 10-Jul-13 21:22:43

DC would not be going to that nursery

Queen0fFeckingEverything Wed 10-Jul-13 21:24:07

Well the nursery say the children are always supervised in that area but... there isn't actually any physical barrier to prevent them just wandering over there when they aren't supposed to. Which would be pretty normal for small children IME.

quoteunquote I do actually live with a blacksmith/welder type person, so could ask him about the likely cost of a cover. Its all theoretical for me as we don't stand a chance of getting DS a place there anyway, but the friends who are considering it might be interested in suggesting it to the school.

FeckOffCup Wed 10-Jul-13 21:26:15

I wouldn't send my child there either, look at that case of a child who died at a nursery after getting tangled in ropes, bet their staff said the children wouldn't be unsupervised too.

BoysAreLikeDogs Wed 10-Jul-13 21:34:54

No from me too

ShadowStorm Wed 10-Jul-13 22:10:59

This would put me off a nursery too. I would want any pond to be properly fenced off or covered.

It's all very well saying that the children are "always supervised" in that area, but the nursery can't possibly guarantee there'll be a member of staff keeping an eye on the pond area at all times.

The staff could get easily get distracted by another child and not notice one who was heading for the pond at the same time. For instance, DS lost his balance and fell off a small slide at nursery last week. He wasn't hurt - just a little bruise - but I bet that for at least a few minutes while the staff were comforting him, checking him over and sorting out cold compresses etc, they wouldn't have been keeping such a close eye on the rest of the kids at the nursery. Leaving a window of opportunity for another child to fall into an (in this case, imaginary) pond.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 10-Jul-13 22:18:46

I wouldn't like it is there is access and it would probably put me off too, but I would listen and be open minded to any explanations they gave about their risk assessment and safeguarding regarding the pond.

It's a shame, because if it were properly sectioned off and it was used well, it would be a lovely resource to have in a pre school.

3littlefrogs Wed 10-Jul-13 22:24:05

I would not be happy with that at all.

DS (aged 2) fell into a pond. His dad was standing right next to him. angry

It only takes a second.

canyou Thu 11-Jul-13 11:02:10

we have a pond and water fall type thing, I have grid thing set an inch below the highest water level for safety, but it is in an area near the hse and the smallest DC are never alone out there, also we don't keep fish in itsad

TheMoonOnAStick Thu 11-Jul-13 11:04:28

It would def put me off.

Judyandherdreamofhorses Thu 11-Jul-13 11:08:35

I would probably actively choose that nursery, if they could demonstrate how they taught children to be safe around water.

DeWe Thu 11-Jul-13 11:16:38

The pond at infant school has a big sign next to it. "Warning: Deep water". I doubt it would go over the top of the smallest reception child's wellies. I grin to myself every time I see it.
It is fenced off though.

Pennyacrossthehall Thu 11-Jul-13 12:32:07

(If my DCs were still small) I would not have an uncovered pond in my own garden and I would therefore expect the same level of security at the nursery.

In relation to the "always supervised" aspect: almost all of the injuries that my children sustained as toddlers / small children were when they were within a few metres of me. (Please note that I was not the cause of the injuries grin, it's just that stuff happens and that even if you are within touching distance if you don't catch/stop them in time . . . . that's how it is)

IloveJudgeJudy Thu 11-Jul-13 12:40:06

I definitely would not send my DC there. We had a pond in our garden and got rid of it when DC came along. DD, in particular, had a special affinity to water and would always fall in any pond that she was near. It's too much of a risk for me. Agree with Penny. Things that happened to the DC always happened when someone was near. Just because the nursery staff are near doesn't mean an accident can't happen and an accident in water can easily have fatal consequences.

BettySwollocksandaCrustyRack Thu 11-Jul-13 12:51:28

I am a pretty laid back person but no way would I have sent DS to a nursery with an uncovered pond. Yes, they are supposed to be supervised but ............... too many buts for me.

When DS was little, ponds and roads were my big fears and the things I was most neurotic over.

BrokenBanana Thu 11-Jul-13 12:54:28

I wouldn't send my ds there either. I knew a little boy that drowned in the pond in his back garden, it was the usual heartbreaking story of his mum only popping inside to get him a snack sad

3littlefrogs Thu 11-Jul-13 16:37:46

A 3 year old can easily drown in less than 6 inches of water. It is to do with their heads being large in proportion to their bodies, and the shock response of falling into cold water (they will always fall headfirst).

I would not even expect nursery staff, no matter ow good they are, to be able to manage a group of small children and keep them all away from the pond all the time.

glasgowdan Sat 02-Dec-17 18:28:58

Some interesting reading. I am building a pond for my kids to learn about wildlife and safety, and wouldn't dream of putting a horrid huge metal grid over it.

Nanny0gg Sat 02-Dec-17 18:56:50


2.) Build a “barrier” or “no go zone”

So our pond is built where we used to have a rockery, and as such it has a little wall around that raises it above garden level. The boys know that unless we are there they don’t cross that line – usually they don’t.

Yes, I find that point particularly reassuring... confused

RainyDayBear Sat 02-Dec-17 19:35:17

Nope, I wouldn’t send DD there. It only takes a second, and a supervisor to become distracted with a child that’s fallen over or something. Not worth the risk!

ContraryLollipop Sat 02-Dec-17 19:44:25

I found that blog post absolutely chilling to read, especially the bit Nanny0gg highlighted.

A child could fall on the edge and knock themselves out and take an involuntary gasp of water. It would only take a couple of seconds. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

I don’t buy the argument that it’s worth it to teach the child about water-safety. Surely the risk of something bad happening by having kids around water in their garden every single day, is greater than the risk of a child coming across water in a one-off unsupervised situation and not being sufficiently safety-trained, and something bad happening in that situation..?

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