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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

Crinkle77 Fri 26-Jul-13 15:53:52

As none of them can swim yanbu. If he were to fall over board then no one would be able to recue him. Buy him a new one yourself and insist it gets worn. Have you thought about starting to teach your child to swim so as he gets older he will hopefully be able to recue himself

LIZS Fri 26-Jul-13 15:58:01

Personally I'd say they should all wear lifejackets . Currents near locks can be very strong. If in any doubt buy one for him to use but I'd be concerned they weren't even able to fish him out if the worst happened. .

ReallyTired Fri 26-Jul-13 16:06:45

Your son should definately wear a life jacket at the age of four (or even forty four!) It takes years for a child to become a good swimming and even then the strongest of swimmers still can drown. A child can drown really quickly.

You aren't paranoid - just sensible!

Finola1step Fri 26-Jul-13 16:10:36

This had got to be one if the YADNBU replies I have ever posted. Don't need to read the whole thread - just the OP is enough.

xylem8 Fri 26-Jul-13 16:48:10

a friend's 15 yo son who is a strong swimmer nearly drowned swimming in a lock just a few days ago (idiot).

BoyMeetsWorld Fri 26-Jul-13 18:56:18

Thanks again everyone.

Unfortunately, as I've mentioned I can't just 'not let him go' (although I'd love to) as ExP has joint parental responsibility therefore as much right to decide what he does with his child as I do. However, I DO have a right to insist on safety measures.

I got some legal advice today. Am going to ask ExP for a proper talk (he's still ignoring my messages about it) then will resort to a solicitors 'cease and desist' letter or court as a last resort. I think he'd look fairly daft trying to argue a defence for why DS shouldn't wear a life jacket.

On a side note to reply to some posters: yes we've taken DS swimming multiple times and he can but is still only 4 and in the armband stage.

Onesleeptillwembley Fri 26-Jul-13 19:02:06

I'm sure that as he's compromising his safety you can just not let him go. I wouldn't let mine go. You just don't dick around with water, and it's compounded by the fact they don't swim either. Ease stop this until it's sorted. You can, and you'd never forgive yourself if anything happened and you'd let him go.

Onesleeptillwembley Fri 26-Jul-13 19:02:45

Ease = please.

lurkerspeaks Fri 26-Jul-13 19:05:47

Sailor here. Been sailing since I was 3. Family rules are: life jacket or safety harness for all children at all times.

Adults have to wear a life jacket/safety harness (mine is a combo) all the time in rough weather or when out of the cockpit in fair weather. I generally wear mine pretty much all the time.

It is non negotiable if you don't wear one you don't get invited back on board.

Onesleeptillwembley Fri 26-Jul-13 19:08:38

Yes, lurker. Mine grew up around water. Almost every weekend at the sailing club, etc. that's why we have respect for water and the dangers.

Mollie272 Fri 26-Jul-13 19:10:04

I've been thinking about this all day after reading the thread this morning and I'm so glad you got legal advice OP - it lets your ExP know how seriously you are taking it. I'd be tempted to stalk check up on them while he was with them to make sure he was wearing it too!

Thirstysomething Fri 23-Aug-13 23:55:26

Any recommendations for least bulky but very safe life jacket for a chunky 20 month old? (Not floatation device - I mean one which holds their head out of the water).
I need to buy one urgently (esp after reading this thread!)

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