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water safety and little boys...

(14 Posts)
tholeon Thu 21-Jul-11 21:20:28


I have a 2 year old DS and we have a river at the bottom of the garden... It is fenced off, but the fence is quite short (about as tall as our stairgate.) At the moment I don't let him out in the garden by himself, and he couldn't get over the fence anyway. But I guess this all may change, esp as expecting a baby and this will make it harder to watch him all the time, and he will get better at working out how to climb over things. My mother is very worried about it and thinks we need to get a taller fence. I think she is probably right, better safe than sorry, but DH is getting very cross about her interfering and doesn't want his garden looking ugly... What do those with experience of children slightly older than my DS think?

missmapp Thu 21-Jul-11 21:22:53

I think if there is any chance he could climb over the fence, I would put a higher one there. Accidents happen in a split second and you cant always watch them.

ShatnersBassoon Thu 21-Jul-11 21:26:00

Get a taller fence.

suzikettles Thu 21-Jul-11 21:27:36

Get a taller fence and also start educating him about the dangers of going near water by himself as early as possible.

DoMeDon Thu 21-Jul-11 21:27:55


Meglet Thu 21-Jul-11 21:29:15

Bigger (ie; adult height) fence and swimming lessons.

If he's not already doing it then he'll soon learn how to put boxes / toys by the fence to climb over. There is no way in the world you will be able to watch him all the time when the new baby arrives.

thisisyesterday Thu 21-Jul-11 21:32:09

i would absolutely be getting a bigger fence

really, your husband is worried about his garden looking ugly?????? when his child COULD DIE?? ffs the man needs to get his priorities straight.

once the children are old enough to be trusted he can have a lower fence again can't he.
but until then their safety must be the number one priority. end of

PurveyorOfBaloney Thu 21-Jul-11 21:32:28

My cousin drowned in a shallow stream at the bottom of a garden aged 2.5 whilst my aunts back was turned for a few minutes only sad

Can you really be vigilant enough not to let a few minutes go by unsupervised. And if my DS is anything to go by small boys are drawn to water and have no concept of personal safety.

tholeon Thu 21-Jul-11 21:41:29

ok thanks. There seems to be a consensus... I think in DH's defence he thinks a) that our fence is big enough (it is now, but they do change quickly) b) that I will be able to watch him all the time (but yep I guess increasingly unrealistic) and c) that DS will listen to us when we tell him he isn't allowed near it (also unrealistic..) But the main problem I think is that my mother is getting so worked up about it he feels like he's being bossed around by his MIL.

olibeansmummy Thu 21-Jul-11 21:55:33

Get a higher fence just in case

Bouviergirl Fri 22-Jul-11 13:52:22

Would agree with others about getting higher fence now and starting talking about danger of water. They always reach milestones sooner than you expect (and sadly, sometimes too late eg. with me baby rolling over and falling out of bed). Between 2 and 3yo he will probably reach the point of moving other items, boxes chairs etc near a small fence, and able to go over, particularly if he knows something as exciting as water is over there. It might be annoying that MIL is 'bossing' but hopefully dh will see past that and focus on the really important issue. Good luck.

turkeyboots Fri 22-Jul-11 14:24:19

I vote for a big fence too. My 20month old is already putting boxes in front of things to climb over them, so won't be long before your DS figures it out.

Catslikehats Fri 22-Jul-11 14:45:48

I would probably get a bigger fence but I would also start talking about water safety now and the very serious consequences of going near the water alone.

Slightly different but we have a pool and whilst DC2 was a devil of a toddler and in to absolutely everything (climbing on top of wardrobes etc shock ) he has never tried to get into the pool alone as we have always made it clear that the consequences would be severe.

The older DC are now 5 & 6 and we have removed the fence but it will go back once DC4 gets on the move.

We also have made it a priority that all DC learn to swim early and whilst that is no substitue for vigilance it makes life much easier.

Catslikehats Fri 22-Jul-11 14:52:44

It is also worth bearing in mind that it is a relatively short period between old enough to get over the fence but too young to understand not to and being old enough to understand not to do so plus having the ability to swim and get themselves out of water.

So it is possible that with strict rules (i.e. no going in the garden unless you are there) you could manage as is. It depends how big the garden/stream is I guess.

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