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Am I being overprotective around water?

(37 Posts)
Lovesyoungdreamers Tue 23-Jun-15 11:32:12

I suspect I'm being mildly unreasonable but not completely.

In a nutshell: on holiday in Spain with extended family. I am from Australia and grew up around swimming pools and with high awareness of water safety. Rest of family are good swimmers but from cold climate.

Family here have 3 DCs, 7, 5 & 3. We have a 4yo and a 2yo. Neither can swim at all and I watch them like a hawk around the swimming pool, which has a fence with a gate. The 7yo can open the gate and constantly leaves it unlocked.

The 5yo had a near-drowning incident on holiday 2 years ago. I have therefore been fairly shocked that the parents seem fairly relaxed about watching him (and the others) in the water. Last night I heard that there have been 2 further close calls this past year shock

Long story short: DH and I were meant to leave our 2 DCs in care of family and go out for a few hours. I had a literally last-minute wibble and refused to get in the car. Said I would not enjoy myself as I would not be able to relax. Am now sitting watching my DCs (they are not in the pool while I'm MNetting!) and feeling slightly sheepish as well as v annoyed and emotional. DH and the others have gone without me. WIBU?

Mehitabel6 Tue 23-Jun-15 11:38:09

I would only go if I could trust them.

notinagreatplace Tue 23-Jun-15 11:41:44

No, not at all - and I'm not sure I'd be happy about leaving their own 5 year old with them!

That said, I think it's important you get your kids swimming lessons - however closely you watch them, they will be much safer around water if they can swim.

MrsNextDoor Tue 23-Jun-15 11:44:02

Oh YANBU. They sound lax in the extreme. I have a 7 year old who can swim quite well but would NEVER leave her alone near a pool....she wouldn't be in a position to leave the gate unlocked!! She'd be supervised at all times.

Earthbound Tue 23-Jun-15 11:44:57

Gosh YANBU at all.

Lovesyoungdreamers Tue 23-Jun-15 11:45:19

YY to the swimming lessons smile

I have serious concerns about the 5yo and am trying to come up with some ways to get this through to the parents. They are very loving, caring and responsible (other than this!), they clearly don't grasp just how quickly a child can drown or that it can happen when you're right there.

Hoppinggreen Tue 23-Jun-15 11:48:26

My 10 year old can swim well and my 6 year old isn't bad but they are never allowed near water unattended.
Also, you never ever have to leave your children with someone or in a situation where you have even minor concerns about their safety ( unless it's an emergency of course)

Lovesyoungdreamers Tue 23-Jun-15 11:55:58

Hoppinggreen thank you for that. You are so right, but somehow I needed to hear it from someone else.

DHs parents are here and they are lovely and very responsible. I just thought argh what happens when the 7yo comes back from school if I'm not here?

FIL was watching the 2yo (not mine) the other day, 2yo is allowed to stand on the top step of the pool and paddle in the water while the adults sit nearby. FIL was watching, then looking away, then watching again. I thinks ILs are a bit insulted but I come from a different culture and it's just shockshock for me. It's too easy to get distracted and then a child could die shock

haveabreakhaveakitkat Tue 23-Jun-15 12:18:51

YANBU. You can NEVER be too careful with young children around water and you must watch constantly even if they're in shallow water. When people drown they are usually silent, not the splashy screamy way they show it in films/tv.

BettyCatKitten Tue 23-Jun-15 12:21:23

Yanbu, children should be supervised near water. A young local girl drowned last year on holiday.

sebsmummy1 Tue 23-Jun-15 12:28:01

YANBU It's actually one of my top anxieties. I see some shockingly bad parenting around water, particularly the river around my old home town. I see Mothers with 18 month year olds toddling precariously on the river bank feeding the swans and geece. No harness, no one holding a hand, I just grit my teeth and try not to look as the river is known to be a tangled web of weeds and shopping trolleys and is often mentioned alongside deaths and suicides in the local press.

Some people just have no sense and I dehibtelt wid to leave my child in the care of people who have shown themselves to be pretty irresponsible.

scottishmerlottish Tue 23-Jun-15 12:40:37

I live in an area with rivers and kids drown every summer.
I remember my best friends brother drowning in the sea when we were 10.

both mine (10 and 8) have had lessons and are good swimmers but there is always the freak bang on the head / underwater reeds / cramp in cold water story which worries me. Even small pools can be lethal.

Yy re the drowning doesn't LOOK like drowning.
I saw a very good video re this on Youtube last year.
A couple of weeks later I was in a VERY busy pool with Dd (7).
She was bobbing up and down, on the spot, in the water, trying to keep her mouth above water but loosing consciousness - effectively drowning - and it happened SO quickly.
There were lifeguards at the Council pool but no-one else saw it and I wouldn't have known iwhat I was looking at f I'd not seen the YouTube video. Scary.

don't leave your kids with other people unless you have ABSOLUTE confidence in them.

SylvaniansAtEase Tue 23-Jun-15 12:43:57

YANBU. At all.

Don't budge on this, it just isn't worth it.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 23-Jun-15 13:00:28

YANBU. Just not worth the risk. Apart from accidents, little kids sometimes do plain stupid things - for instance, a little boy I know decided to try the experiment of putting his armbands on his ankles. I'm not sure the parents realised just what the effect would be but they were there to fish him out.

(I grew up by the sea, and our favourite family activities are sailing and windsurfing .... love the water, but know to treat it with respect.)

ErrolTheDragon Tue 23-Jun-15 13:05:53

This may be the video mentioned. It also shows how you absolutely don't trust that your child is safe if they're using inflatables.

scottishmerlottish Tue 23-Jun-15 13:31:26

Errol - the video I saw was in the sea but it was the same - child going up and down, hardly any fuss or splash - just like my Dd was. I'll see if I can find it.

scottishmerlottish Tue 23-Jun-15 13:43:45

Cant find it but I remember:
Head goes back / throat closes / fills with water - so SILENT
arms are out/hanging - NOT waving

It can happen in 5 seconds, right next to you.
I was standing 2 feet away from my Dd, looking across at my Ds for - 5 secs - I looked back and Dd was in big trouble.

Sorry, OP, don't mean to be a scare raiser, but you can't be too careful.x

haveabreakhaveakitkat Tue 23-Jun-15 14:40:38 is a good page to follow for general child safety. If you scroll down the page you'll find a water safety article.

MomOfTwoGirls2 Tue 23-Jun-15 14:57:47

Op, YADNBU. Listen to your instincts on this!

LaLaLaaaa Tue 23-Jun-15 15:00:57

YADNBU - I was a very sensible child but accidentally fell in deep end at butlins when I was 5. No lifeguard and my parents were over at next pool sunbathing. Luckily my df realised I was gone - saw me drowning and jumped in to save me. I was very nearly a goner! Only took 4 mins of parents not watching. Mum played it down at the time but told me recently it was terrifying.

Stick with your gut.

noddingoff Tue 23-Jun-15 16:15:49
YANBU. This video freaks me how - how quiet, how quick.

Gatehouse77 Tue 23-Jun-15 16:42:30

If you wouldn't enjoy yourself because you' due worrying about the safety of your children then YANBU.

I have no hesitation leaving my children in any circumstance where I am confident of their safety. Otherwise, no way. And I will pull rank over anyone!

specialsubject Tue 23-Jun-15 16:47:25

perfectly sensible.

if you were the parent I would tell you: read the riot act to the 7 year old until he closes the gate EVERY time. Supervise EVERY time. Supervise all of them when in or near the water. That means WATCHING.

they are taking a big risk. Don't let them take it with your kids.

namechangeagaimm Tue 23-Jun-15 16:51:47

I'm worried when my ds gets older and is with ILs . .They have a massive pond they refuse to cover for their current 18 month old gc. I'd be a nervous wreck every time he was with them :-(

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Tue 23-Jun-15 21:00:00

There's no such thing as being too over protective in regards to water and your children's safety.
In the situation you have described I would not be leaving my child either
And perhaps the last minute wibble could have been mother's intuition.

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