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To expect a life guard on duty at childrens' swim class?

(12 Posts)
JustAsWelliLikeLego Tue 10-Nov-09 10:07:41

I signed my ds up for some classes at a private swim class in April just after turning 3 as I thought he would like it as a fun activity - don't really care that he learns quickly or that.

Anyway, recently my DH has been taking him down and says all fine etc but I also went at the weekend and was quite shocked that there was no life guard on duty as there had been one previously, watching over everyone but stood over the very young class of non-swimmers, telling them to hold onto the side (water is only about 70cm deep so can stand in) and generally keeping an eye on them especially. Teachers are in the water with their classes (about 4 - 8 kids in each one) and there are 4 classes going on at same time in different lanes so very noisy and busy.
Anyway, my DS likes to dive under the water and flail wildly but as a fun thing to do while he waits for his turn but my opinion of this is that at 3.5 he is too young to be doing this unobserved(well parents sit at poolside at a distance but we are not life guards).

I do not like that he dives under so much as he was coming up coughing and I think as he cannot swim it is maybe basically daft and completely unsafe. My main gripe is that the lifegurad is no longer there and I am now on the point of stopping these classes, he can learn later no?. So AIBU?

PS I can't take him swimming due to medical reasons so not an option....sad

madamearcati Tue 10-Nov-09 10:21:12

I sadly think this is normal.Not so bad when the teacher is on the side of the pool , but not on when he/she is in the water and can't possibly have a good enough view.

gingernutlover Tue 10-Nov-09 10:27:55

my dd has been doing classes on her own since about this age, there is a teacher on the side and sometimes a helper in the water with them.

No lifeguard, I trust the teacher to be aware of the children in her group. There are 6-8 children in her class and they have sole use of the pool.

It does sound like you situation is different though, sounds very busy with more than one class going on at one time. I wouldnt be happy with that, and wouldnt sign dd up to the class.

Have you asked why there was a lifeguard at the beginning and not now?

bibbitybobbityhat Tue 10-Nov-09 10:29:49

I would not be happy with that.

My dc have swim classes in a training pool where there are three classes going on at once, about 20-25 children in the water. There is always a lifeguard on duty.

JustAsWelliLikeLego Tue 10-Nov-09 10:33:06

Yes,madamearcati - I thought it might happen elsewhere,guess I wanted to see if I was being too protective but I just have a bad feeling about it. Mostly because my DS is so into diving under not just waiting.

Teachers in his group are always in the water with the class and so have back turned and otherwise occupied at other side of pool with the child whose turn it is.

JustAsWelliLikeLego Tue 10-Nov-09 10:42:51

Thanks for the replies and opinions - I didn't ask at the weekend as I thought it was a one off (the no life guard), but when we left my DH said there had not been one since lessons restarted in mid September.I was angry at him then......hmm To me it is cutting corners.

My gut tells me to find a different way for DS to swim so I think I should do that.

VengefulSinner Tue 10-Nov-09 10:46:48

My DS is part of a group of approx 12 children and they have the training pool to themselves.

First lesson for beginners there was a LG in the pool. Instructor never gets in. After that, no LG at all.

The water is 2'9 so comes up to Ds's neck.

No parents allowed in the pool area - we have to watch from the covered walkway above the pools.

Hulababy Tue 10-Nov-09 10:47:00

DD has swimming lessons at a very busy venue. The pool seems huge and there are 5 classes taking place at any one time. The lower levels take place in the shallower end - although this is not shallow enough for the smaller children (all are 5y and over) to stand flat on their feet. These classes have approx 10 pupils per class and 2 instructors in the pool with each group. The higher groups are in the deep end, which is VERY deep! The instructors one per group, are not in the water but ont he side.

AFAIK there are also two lifeguards on duty. One sits in a raised chair at the deep end of the pool. The other walks round the pool.

VinegarTits Tue 10-Nov-09 10:57:10

I worked as a life guard in my student days, it is not normal to have a life guard watching over a swimming class as the swimming teacher will also be a trained life guard

I would say you are being a little over protective, but if you are worried then just talk to them and ask if they can keep an extra eye on him, i would also have a word with your ds about messing about it the water and the dangers of it

chopstheduck Tue 10-Nov-09 11:00:57

I agree with vinegartits.

Ds1's swimming school didnt have a lifeguard. The teachers are perfectly capable of keeping an eye on them. The children also learn basic water safety as part of the badges right from the beginning.

I think if he is doing that, have a work with the teacher, he/she should be stopping him.

My ds has sn so I had to keep an eye on him and tell him when he was being unsafe, but the other kids seemed fine, even children 3-4 years younger than him.

Hulababy Tue 10-Nov-09 11:09:18

"Anyway, my DS likes to dive under the water and flail wildly but as a fun thing to do while he waits for his turn"

What does the instructor feel about this?

At DD's class, even when she was little, the waiting children would hae been told not to do it.

If your DS can't yet wait calmly for hsi turn maybe he is a bit too young for a swim class where parents are not in with him, perhaps?

JustAsWelliLikeLego Tue 10-Nov-09 11:16:30

Yes it seems there are different set ups so good to see the them and help me get a balanced view as I do not want him to stop something if it is enjoyable/beneficial.

VinegarTits : the instructors are quite strict in general with the kids but actively encourage them to dive under so this is what he is doing (just too much, I reckon!)....if I tell him not to and they then tell him to do it I'm unsure if he can understand that he should only do it when they are there? Perhaps he is too young to get it?

His teacher also changed from when I accompanied him before- she seemed a bit freaked out by his antics TBH and back then the lifeguard told him to stop and hold onto the side. The new teacher seems very nice but really ignored his diving, where I think he should be told off about it and told to wait.

Yes Hulababy, perhaps he is too young and "jumpy". I've got to go the now - thanks all for opinions

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