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To think a holiday pool for 14mo must be fenced?

(70 Posts)
LightminTheQueem Tue 14-Jan-14 16:10:35

Am I? Family keep suggesting places with unfenced pools which are close to the house and easily accessible and reacting as if I'm being a drama queen when I say they're not suitable for a toddler. Surely it's just dangerous to have an open pool with small children?

meganorks Tue 14-Jan-14 16:48:44

Having just looked for a Villa with a fenced pool I can understand your family's frustrations - bloody nightmare! But YANBU. If not fenced at very least in a separate area away from main garden. I don't intend on letting my little ones wander about unsupervised but with an unfenced pool I would need to be on their tail all the time. And from passed experience the more people there are to watch them the more likely they are to assume someone else is doing it.

Maybe you should try looking for suitable places? Try Googling 'fenced pool place name' this worked for me.

meganorks Tue 14-Jan-14 16:49:37

*past experience! Brain fart!

dontcallmemam Tue 14-Jan-14 16:52:59

I'm a very lax parent but wouldn't have c

dontcallmemam Tue 14-Jan-14 16:55:19

Considered a villa without a fence and lockable gate. Children are so attracted to water that you wouldn't have any peace of mind. It only takes seconds.

VikingVagine Tue 14-Jan-14 16:55:44

YANBU, it's one of the main criteria for us when looking for holiday lets (because of 4yo DD).

ProfPlumSpeaking Tue 14-Jan-14 16:55:59

YANBU - it would not in any sense be a holiday for you as you could never relax or close your eyes.

Having said that, I thought that in the EU, and in the states, all pools have to be fenced and/or alarmed these days? That should make it easy to find one.

Stick to your guns or, at best, you will have a miserable non-holiday.

maillotjaune Tue 14-Jan-14 16:57:53

I think the number of people is an important point - we had the unfenced pool when it was just DH, me and DSs. One of us could be, and was, with the toddler (and indeed the 7 year old), at all times.

Scuttlebug Tue 14-Jan-14 17:01:16

We went to a villa last year with our DD 3. It had a large un fenced pool. My DH and I were just extremely careful about ensuring the door to outside was locked. It wasn't hard to do and all was fine. However, I do think if more people are there and some not used to how fast a toddler can move, I would have been more wary.

Not worth the hassle and stress I would have thought.

AtticusMcPlatypus Tue 14-Jan-14 17:03:13


When my DD was in year 1 a classmates toddler sister drowned in an unfenced pool. Stick to your guns and don't take the risk.

Musicaltheatremum Tue 14-Jan-14 17:10:58

I went on holiday with my two aged 5 and 3 with an unfenced pool. Never thought anything of it. We just kept an eye on them. I do think though that the more adults there are it could be worse as "I thought you were watching them"

Onesleeptillwembley Tue 14-Jan-14 17:13:06

Yanbu. Nuff said.

TheFantasticFixit Tue 14-Jan-14 17:13:11

Oh gawd OP, unfortunately I have first hand experience of why you shouldn't go with unfenced. We took our18 month old DD on our honeymoon last year to a gorgeous villa with an unfenced pool, thinking that as there are two of us and one of her and we would of course be uber vigilant and all would be fine.
She was fascinated by the bloody thing, like a moth to a flame. The rep came to 'encourage' us to partake in some organised fun and she started to make for the pool, so thinking I was clever I sat right next to her by it saying very smug mummy things like 'yes darling, water! Isn't it dazzling!' And 'no, we don't want to go in there yet' and 'come back, there we go' when the rep made a wisecrack that I needed to titter at and in that second that I looked away - whilst still right next to her - she slipped into the water, silently, her little arms above her head whilst time just stood still and I froze. Fortunately to the reps cries of 'get in there!' My husband flew like a bat out of hell into the pool and scooped her up (taking iPhone, wallet, car keys etc with him) and she was fine. Oh my god, phew. The relief was immeasurable. And I would have thought we were quite 'sensible' parents until that point.

Never, ever again. Our stupid decision nearly ruined not just our holiday but our lives. Don't do it OP, they are too precious and it literally takes a millisecond of absent thinking.

loveandsmiles Tue 14-Jan-14 17:14:07


My DD nursery classmate drowned last summer whilst on holiday. It only takes seconds, nothing is worth that risk IMO.

hellymelly Tue 14-Jan-14 17:17:06

A friend of mine lost her toddler son this way. Villa with unfenced pool, they had arrived with another family and she and her DH each thought he was with the other parent. They found him within minutes, but it was too late. He was only 3. sad so no, YADNBU. I am now really paranoid about water with my dds and 18m is the hardest age to deal with as far too little to be careful around water, but mobile enough to be out of reach in under a minute.

ProfPlumSpeaking Tue 14-Jan-14 17:26:20

Incidentally, I went to a villa with an unfenced pool with a 3 week old baby, a 2.5 yo and 3 other adults (Dh and a childless couple). They could not begin to understand my nervousness about the doors (there were many) being carelessly left open and my inability to take daytime naps, despite being a tired new mum. Then, whilst I was there eating lunch by the pool, my DD fell right in about 10 metres away. I have never run so quickly in all my life as I did at that moment (and I hold various sprinting records) whilst the others had not even had time to react. I would not trust my toddler DD (now grown up into a junior doctor) to any other adult with an unfenced pool on that basis. Honestly, I won't forget that and I would NEVER advise going away to an unfenced pool if you want a moment of peace whilst knowing your little ones are safe. Don't give in!

LightminTheQueem Tue 14-Jan-14 17:28:51

Ok, thanks all and so sorry to hear such sad stories. Will stick to my guns. I don't think the group we will be with have the vigilance to watch her all the time and we won't manage it between the two of us as have another child as well (also a worry as she can't swim either). I fear it will mean we go on hol on our own again this year sad

MrsFruitcake Tue 14-Jan-14 17:31:58

FWIW it is possible to stay somewhere unfenced but it is hard work, as I found out myself. DS was 3 at that time and the rule was that he wore a life jacket around the pool at all times which did work.

maillotjaune Tue 14-Jan-14 17:40:14

Where are thinking if going OP? We have been to lots of places in France where there are a few go see plus shared, fenced pool. Booked through Chez Nous. Might be worth a look.

Scrounger Tue 14-Jan-14 17:44:03

DH works in the travel industry and the worst things that he has to deal with are children drowning in pools, it isn't often but one is too many.

He also avoids hot tubs and turns the light on at night at the top of the stairs (a lot of people have accidents getting out of bed on the first night or two, not turning a light on and falling down the stairs.)

We took our DTs to a holiday with a pool this year, worked OK but not easy to relax and we had to be vigilent, probably wouldn't do it. We bought some pool alarms to be attached to them that would sound if they feel in the pool - didn't really work very feel, took ages to charge and the alarm went off if they weren't charged. Gave up on them. Not sure about relying on a life jacket they could just keep the child afloat but face down? Not sure.

GandalfsPointyHat Tue 14-Jan-14 17:51:38


But, whenever we go to SA to visit family, most pools are unfenced. Only my mum's are. There being lots of adults around isn't a guarantee of safety either, a back door is left open, someone thinks someone else is watching, etc.

Also, people think if a child falls into a pool they will float. They don't. They sink to the bottom like a stone, kids like to run around too, if the fall in and bump their heads on the side of the pool they could be knocked unconscious.

I investigated all sorts of pool alarms before our last trip, eventually settled an a Pool Turtle. Got it ( from the states) on ebay the last time we went, and two of the same colour wristbands. Welcome to PM me if you want more info. It's pricey but it wasn't really negotiable. I was in SA for 6 weeks, 3 weeks at the house with the most dangerous pool iykwim, it is hard to be super vigilant for that length of time. Kids wore them on their wrist or ankle. We had one near miss when DS slipped next to the pool and fell in halfway, leg in and torso out. Pool alarm worked perfectly.

I got a lot of very sceptical looks, couldn't care less. Hth and enjoy planning your holiday!

CailinDana Tue 14-Jan-14 17:52:59

Yanbu at all. Would you agree to go to a villa that had a massive uncovered hole in the garden? Why is it any better if the hole is full of water?

When my dsis was about 3 we were on holiday and she slipped while in the very shallow toddler pool. Both my parents were watching her but it still took them about 30 seconds to notice she had gone down s she didn't struggle at all, she just went totally still. Luckily they got her out and she was fine.

Amy106 Tue 14-Jan-14 17:56:09

YANBU, not at all. It only takes a few seconds for a tragedy to happen.

Annabel7 Tue 14-Jan-14 17:56:28

I've just been going through the same. Hunting high and low for a fenced pool that's heated (it's been too cold to swim in the last 2 holidays). Have found somewhere by googling heated fenced pool in [country you fancy]. Totstotravel are also good. YANBU - holidays are supposed to be relaxing and it's not worth the risk IMO...

TimeToPassGo Tue 14-Jan-14 17:57:56

My family have a villa with unfenced pool (extended family). We have all been out with DC at different stages but we were extremely vigilant. I agree that it is actually easier with small groups of adults as less likely to be careless / assume someone else is watching.

GandalfsPointyHat Tue 14-Jan-14 17:58:19

PS a pool alarm does not replace super vigilance! But I saw it as a extra layer of security I wasn't prepared to be without. Our base unit ran from mains electricity, no no issues with batteries running flat.

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