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Villas with pools - how do we stop toddlers falling in?

(39 Posts)
drjane Thu 14-Aug-08 14:56:37

Hi - we're planning to go on holiday in October with another family to a villa with a pool (somewhere that will still be warm - I'm thinking malta, canary islands crete etc).

There will be 7 of us altogether: 4 adults, an 18mo, a 1yo and a 3mo. I've been looking at loads of villas but I can't see how we're going to stop the two toddlers falling in the pool all the time. I've found very few that specifically say that the pool is fenced and all of those are in France where it will be to cold in October.

Has anyone else come across this problem? A couple said that you could restrict access by shutting patio doors, but that would mean shutting the toddlers in the house, surely! Otherwise we're going to spend the whole week shooing toddlers away from the poolside which doesn't sound very relaxing!

MissisBoot Thu 14-Aug-08 15:06:38

I think probably the 1yo and 3mo are too young to understand the dangers of the pool - maybe get somewhere without a pool and near to a beach or lake?

ScaryHairy Thu 14-Aug-08 15:11:09

IIRC, the law in France is that pools have to be fenced. This is not the same in other areas of Europe (including Spain), which is why it is harder to find a villa with a secure pool.

You could try looking for a villa through one of those baby friendly travel companies - e.g. babygoes2. They have a villa finding-service which matches a villa with your wish-list. Might be worth a go.

uptomyeyes Thu 14-Aug-08 15:19:31

Please try to find a villa with a fenced off pool - and keep the gate LOCKED!!!!

We almost lost DS2 in a pool accident 4 years ago (he was 2 at the time). Two famillies, a great villa, with a fenced off and locked pool. We were really practised at holidaying together with the kids, had a strict regime about who was allowed to go swimming and when. The gate was always locked and on the very last night as we relaxed on the patio with a bottle of wine, the other dad let his daughter into the pool area for one last swim. No one noticed DS2 slip in behind her and climb into the pool. Our table was literally yards from the pool. We only realised a minute or so later when the 8 year old girl screamed to us as she held his head above water. We have never got over it. We were always so careful, in fact friends of a friend had lost their 3yo girl in a pool accident the year before and I was so acutely aware of the risk - yet still this happened to us.

elmoandella Thu 14-Aug-08 15:26:32

i'm going in few weeks with my friends to her dads house with pool. we both have dc 2yr and 1 yr. she's already been this year. she had them both in those float jackets. says kids were just jumping in and swimming away. obviously still gotta watch them. but she says they were great and they used them for beach too. she just strapped them into them before they opened the patio doors.

so i've got some for my 2.

ceebee74 Thu 14-Aug-08 15:30:09

Uptomyeyes - how shock for you - I can't even begin to imagine how awful that must have been for you all.

To the OP - haven't done this myself but I remember a friend saying that when they took their 2yo on holiday, whilst they were around the pool, he was always in one of those bodysuits that come with the floats actually sewn in so if he did fall in, he would stay afloat.

ceebee74 Thu 14-Aug-08 15:31:15

X-posts with elmo smile

uptomyeyes Thu 14-Aug-08 15:38:16

Yup we had a float suit - a fantastic confidence jacket - which actually gave him a really false sense that he was safe in the water. But coming home in the evenings when it is cool you will not be putting a wet float suit on your toddler - so please do not be lulled into a false sense of security by them.

elmoandella Thu 14-Aug-08 15:38:17

better to be safe than sorry. and most of the jackets/swimsuit with floats are reversible so you and put the zips and buckle to the back so dc cant undo it themselves.

stealthsquiggle Thu 14-Aug-08 15:44:47

All pools have to be fenced in S.Africa as well, I believe.

Float suits. Pool alarm. Both good investments / worth borrowing.

CountessDracula Thu 14-Aug-08 15:45:30

you have to watch them!

Even if it is fenced they could get in

CountessDracula Thu 14-Aug-08 15:46:34

and pool alarms are shit
We were at a friend who had one.
Their 1 yo fell in and it didn't even go off til his father jumped in to rescue him. A 1yo doesn't displace enough water to let them work reliably

stealthsquiggle Thu 14-Aug-08 15:47:39

We used these people - they are good and friendly and if you specify that the pool must be fenced they will find you one.

One issue with S.Africa, though, which may or may not apply elsewhere - pools are not in general heated and October is spring so the pool may not be warm enough for LOs (and therefore a waste of money)

quinne Thu 14-Aug-08 15:50:35

If you get a villa without a pool and you take a toddler there, then the only way to keep them safe is either to not let them play outside or sit in a chair next to the pool ready to jump if they come near. That's my experience - I can still feel the gut churning fear every time they disappeared out of sight for a nano-second!

Dropdeadfred Thu 14-Aug-08 15:55:29

We had a villa with a pool on Gozo last year when dd2 was just 2 ...even with DH and I and our two teenage girls it was a nightmare watchng her every second...there were two doors leading straight out of the house into the garden and we all felt like we only really relaxed when she was 'officialy' in the pool with us or asleep in her cot....hmm

FioFio Thu 14-Aug-08 15:58:46

Message withdrawn

cadelaide Thu 14-Aug-08 16:01:00

I wouldn't do it.

Could never relax.

Dropdeadfred Thu 14-Aug-08 16:02:55

FioFio..we did. And my DH should win Gold Medals for helicopter parenting grin

I think supervising in normal circumstances is a very different deal to supervising constantly around a huge prety blue pool of water that is enticing to toddlers..all I was suggesting was that it cuts out alot of relaxing time - if thats not an issue forthe adults then no problem!!

PoorOldEnid Thu 14-Aug-08 16:05:35

agree pool alarms are crap

you will need to supervise them constantly - don't you do that anyway with a 1 year old and 18 month old???

PoorOldEnid Thu 14-Aug-08 16:06:33

and by the way, an 18 month falling in a pool doesn't even make a splash

[speaks from bitter experience]

SoupDragon Thu 14-Aug-08 16:11:13

Yep, constant supervision.

I've seen children "potentially drowning" and what you may not realise is how quiet it is. You imagine loads of splashing and screaming but the reality is that (at that age) they just stop breathing and make almost no sound at all.

ScaryHairy Thu 14-Aug-08 16:12:29

Of course you watch them all the time. But fences and float suits etc give you a bit of extra time to catch up in the event that they make a break for it and dive in (as my daughter likes to do).

zookeeper Thu 14-Aug-08 16:14:29

I just don't think toddlers and pools make for a relaxing break at all - unless you are prepared to be totally on edge all the time I wouldn't go

SoupDragon Thu 14-Aug-08 16:15:08

Fences and floatsuits can also give you a false sense of security though.

PoorOldEnid Thu 14-Aug-08 16:15:22

hopefully it will be nice and warm and you will be sitting round the pool anyway

In france they are all fenced which is great - especially when they are old enough for no supervision but still a bit random (ie at around 4)

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