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to let ds swim by himself?

103 replies

whethergirl · 06/04/2013 12:44

Ds, just turned 8, went swimming with his friend and friend's dad. I sat in the cafe, waving. Much of the time, the boys would separate and the dad & son would end up together, with ds playing with other kids.

There was a sign saying "children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult" which got me thinking, as I just presumed that you'd have to be older than that.

Anyway, time to leave the pool, with DS in tears, begging me if he can go again tomorrow.

I don't enjoy swimming. I have an enchanged forest down there that needs sorting out, and a spotty bum. I am really concious of my weight at the moment and on top of that, bloated with PMT. And I don't have a swimsuit. Only an attention grabbing pink polka dot bikini (and god knows where that is).

AIBU to take ds there tomorrow and sit out? He is not a particularly strong swimmer (has had a few terms of swimming lessons). He only plays in the shallow pool where there are fountains etc. and doesn't go in the deep end, he is not a daredevil, more cautious than necessary if anything. There are always plenty of lifeguards about there, blowing their whistles at the merest hint of breaking any rule. I would obviously also be watching from the cafe (which has quick access to the pool, should I need to do a pamela anderson). Having said that, I can lose sight of him as all wet kids look much alike.

OP posts:

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman · 06/04/2013 12:47

You're staying at the pool while he swims? I would let him swim alone.

I was a pool attendant pre-children and we often had youngsters in the water while mum or dad sat in the cafe dozing/reading/knitting/chatting. Never an issue for the staff.


lisad123everybodydancenow · 06/04/2013 12:49

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

whethergirl · 06/04/2013 12:53

Definitely hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman, I will be there all the time, watching. I was also going to mention it to one of the lifeguards, but you can't really expect them to keep an extra eye out for a specific child, can you?

OP posts:

SanityClause · 06/04/2013 12:53

Surely if he is 8, he has a reasonable understanding of his own capability, even if he isn't a strong swimmer. And it's the pool, with lifeguards, not the sea, where there may be hidden dangers like undertow etc.

Let him go. You could even ask a friend along, so they can play together, and you can sit in the cafe and read watch.


RedHelenB · 06/04/2013 12:55

50m is the minimum swimming requirement & being over 8 in order to swim alone. If you are not confident he can tread water or cope in the deep end |I would go in with him until he can. I once took dds friend swimming & my heart was in my mouth cos she was nowhere near as able a swimmer as she'd made out to be & I had ds & a man had to grab her when the waves came on foir me!


HollyBerryBush · 06/04/2013 12:56

I never get in the pool. No way am I wading through other people piss, fingernails, klinkers and pubes. Grin

Although, I doubt your son will enjoy it without a friend; cant you return the favour and take the other little boy too?.


whethergirl · 06/04/2013 12:58

Mixed responses so far. I keep changing my mind. Confused

SanityClause absoloutely no way would I let him swim alone in the sea.

Thanks for comments so far.

OP posts:

TidyDancer · 06/04/2013 13:03

Can you sit poolside as opposed to in the cafe? There's no way I would be comfortable being in another room, even if you can see the pool from there and I wouldn't find it acceptable for anyone to take my DCs and do the same. Swimming at 8 without a responsible adult in the pool I would be fine with if the child was a strong swimmer and their responsible adult was in the room. But if either of those things weren't true, I wouldn't allow it.

Btw, no one cares what anyone else looks like at the pool or in the gym. I have said this on here before multiple times, but I was 19 stone or thereabouts when I started going swimming and to the gym and not a single soul ever made a comment.


exoticfruits · 06/04/2013 13:05

He is 8 years old. The pool allows him to go in alone. He knows his capabilities-he is hardly likely to jump in the deep end. There is a lifeguard on duty. I can't see why not-if he wants to do it.


lisad123everybodydancenow · 06/04/2013 13:11

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman · 06/04/2013 13:15

Lifeguards don't want anyone to drown on their watch, they keep a good eye on every single person in the pool. In my years on poolside adults were far more likely to take risks/miscalculate their abilities than the majority of children ever were.


McNewPants2013 · 06/04/2013 13:17

Get yourself some swim wear and go in yourself.

I wouldn't allow it, it's not the life guards responsibility to look after your child.


exoticfruits · 06/04/2013 13:19

In all my years of swimming, in all types of pools, crowded and uncrowded I have never seen a child fall in the deep end if just walking around the edge! Lifeguards are trained!
If OP is in the pool she can't be glued to an 8yr old. I used to take mine with friends and his baby brother-I hadn't a clue where he was-I couldn't expect an 8yr old to stick close by a 6 month old the entire session.


exoticfruits · 06/04/2013 13:20

I wouldn't allow it, it's not the life guards responsibility to look after your child.
Utter rubbish-the lifeguard is paid to do it-that is there job! Why do you think they are there?! The pool states they can go in alone at that age.


dayshiftdoris · 06/04/2013 13:21

Mine has gone alone since turning 8 - he started out sticking to shallow end until we knew he could do 50m

Now he goes diving and all sorts (8 & half)

I always stay at the pool - sometimes pool side but only if that is how the pool spectators is set up


exoticfruits · 06/04/2013 13:21

Sorry -their not there.


hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman · 06/04/2013 13:23

I wouldn't allow it, it's not the life guards responsibility to look after your child.

Of course it is. They are there to look after the customers regardless of age or ability.


BrandiBroke · 06/04/2013 13:26

I think it's fine personally. My mum let me and my brother swim on our own when we were about 8 and 10. Granted there were 2 of us, but he quite often left me to splash around while he did proper lengths.

It was fine. Mum sat in the viewing area and did watch, but I think she took a book too.

There were also 'fun splash' sessions where lots of inflatables were added to the pool. No adults were allowed to that and kids had to be 8+ and had to swim a width when they first got in to prove they weren't total non swimmers.

I think if he's keen it would be good for him. Maybe point out a marker, such as a set of steps halfway up the pool and tell him he's not allowed past that point and if he does he will have to get out straightaway and will not be allowed to swim alone again.


exoticfruits · 06/04/2013 13:27

I just had a quick look and this is typical.

The age limit varies wherein a young person must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, but a safe range would be between five and eight years and under, depending on the pool's policies, as well as the child's behaviour, swimming ability and comfort level. Non-swimmers should not swim alone, or they should remain in the shallow end and near a lifeguard.

I am still astounded by the statement that it isn't the lifeguard's responsibility to look after your a public swimming pool that has a policy that he can go in without an adult! The mind boggles......


Sirzy · 06/04/2013 13:29

He is old enough that by the pools rules he can so that side isn't an issue.

It comes down to whether you are confident and trust him to be sensible which it sounds like he would be.

Does he really want to go alone though?


whethergirl · 06/04/2013 13:29

RedHelenB 50m - a length of the pool right? He couldn't swim a whole length. He only did his stage one, which was swiming a width with an aid.

fwiw - I was never taught to swim, just learnt how to tread water naturally. And when I was a kid, my dad used to drop me off at the pool and pick me up a few hours later!!

HollyBerryBush Grin my thoughts exactly! It's enough of a sacrfice for me to go into the manky cubicles to get ds dressed. But if I take his friend then I'll have two boys to look out for? DS didn't actually spend a lot of time with his friend today, he made friends at the pool.

And what, exactly is a klinker?

TidyDancer the cafe is the poolside, it's a werid open plan set up. DS was coming up to me constantly dripping stinky chlorine water into my coffee to get his goggles and what not.
And thanks for the other comment about people not caring what you look like. I will build myself up to it, and would be more confident about doing it in the summer when I am a bit more used to being exposed, and the sun really clears up my spotty skin (arse and back). The thought of doing it tomorrow morning in a polka dot bikink fills me with dread. I think if I was very obviously overweight, I might be okay with it if that makes any sense, but I hide my flab quite well, and feel if I saw anyone I knew in the pool, I would be 'outed'. I know, its all very self indulgent and i need to get over myself. If I see anyone overweight or with other bodily effects in the pool, I always feel quite encouraged by it, and admire their confidence.

But I do feel quite concious about it. Even when I'm more toned and tanned up and looking my best, I can't help but think "we're all strangers and we're all practically naked Shock". At one point friend's dad came out of pool to say something to me, and I thought, you're standing there in nothing more than waterproof underpants! I think I might have issues.

OP posts:

Fairylea · 06/04/2013 13:31

I think at 8 it totally depends how well they can swim and if they are with someone else would could raise the alarm if needed.

I wouldn't let dd age 10 swim without me but then she has as much swimming ability as a concrete block .... !


Sirzy · 06/04/2013 13:32

If the cafe is poolside I would do it without doubt, I was picturing you watching from behind glass.


exoticfruits · 06/04/2013 13:33

As a member of the public I would raise the alarm! I can't imagine any swimmer is going to think that a person in difficulties is nothing to do with them!


exoticfruits · 06/04/2013 13:34

If you are actually right by the pool side without even glass I can't see why there would be a problem.

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