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Toddler safety in a villa with a pool

50 replies

Hopingforbetterluck · 21/04/2022 15:13

Am I mad to have booked a private villa with a pool for myself, my husband and our two year old. I’m really starting to worry about pool safety. I’ve done many of these kind of holidays with my sisters kids when they were little and so I didn’t think much of it when I booked one for this year. Unfortunately we’ve had a bit of a tough time recently and it’s made me a bit of an over anxious and protective parent to my two year old. I worry myself sick over anything happening to him and now our holiday gets closer I’m starting to think I’ll be a nervous wreck around the villa and the pool. Obviously I’ll have him with me at all times and he’ll have armbands/floats on etc but even at home I’m paranoid about locking all windows and doors so he’s safe and I can imagine how much worse I’ll feel knowing there’s a pool outside. I guess I’m just looking for a bit of reassurance from anyone who has gone on a villa holiday with a toddler that it won’t be as stressful as I’m imagining.

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dipdye · 21/04/2022 15:15

Yeah I'd book something else

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FelicityPike · 21/04/2022 15:19

Can you check if the pool area has a fence/ gated area? Is there a pool alarm?
Are you receiving medical help for your anxieties?

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Ithinkwemightgetaholiday · 21/04/2022 15:20

We've done many villa holidays with our kids when they were toddlers. He's 2, you're not going to be leaving him unattended so there's really nothing to worry about. Going on holiday really stresses me out until I'm through security, am sure you'll be fine once you're there.

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Mindymomo · 21/04/2022 15:41

We took our 3 year old to Florida with a villa and pool, he was very good and we kept the doors closed unless he had his arm bands on and we were with him. On our last morning DH was checking the pool area that we hadn’t left anything, DS followed him out and fell in pool.

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crosbyrose · 21/04/2022 15:54

Make sure that when you’re inside there is no way your toddler can let themselves out through a door or window. You can’t watch them all the time and it only takes seconds for them to get out and fall in the pool when nobody is watching.

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nearlyspringyay · 21/04/2022 15:56

I wouldn't unless it was security fenced

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MrsTerryPratchett · 21/04/2022 15:57

No unfenced pools with young children. It's a hard rule for me.

I once had to take a toddler back to his villa after I found him very early one morning wandering around the pool area.

No thanks! Pools are more dangerous than a gun in the house.

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SpaghettiSquash · 21/04/2022 16:03

I absolutely wouldn't stay in a villa with a child that can't swim unless the pool was securely fenced. It's too much of a risk IMO.

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FrancescaContini · 21/04/2022 16:04

Why didn’t you book a pool with a fence?

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Magnoliayellowbird · 21/04/2022 16:09

Will you be able to enjoy the holiday, or will you be stressed all the time about the pool?
You might be better changing the booking, or at least find a villa with a fenced off pool. Or maybe an above ground pool where your toddler can't get to without help.
I assume you're not going to France, as all pools have to be fenced by law.

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RandomQuest · 21/04/2022 16:10

When you’re inside you lock all doors and windows… presuming it has air conditioning of course.

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Clymene · 21/04/2022 16:18

Go to France instead. All pools have to be fenced by law.

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RandomQuest · 21/04/2022 16:20

I assume you're not going to France, as all pools have to be fenced by law

This got me thinking, in France they don’t actually have to be fenced and you can have a reinforced pool cover instead which obviously wouldn’t show in any photos. My DH is from the south of France and I don’t know anyone with a physical fence, everyone has the covers instead as it looks nicer. So OP if it is France do check with the Villa co but it’ll likely have one and then you can just cover the pool when not swimming. In fact even if it’s not France I’d ask anyway and hopefully you’ll be reassured that there’s something like that. And then failing that lock up the house whenever you’re not sat at the pool.

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Unsureaboutit9 · 21/04/2022 16:21

I wouldn’t unless theres a security fence, there’s plenty of time for villas with pools when he’s older, and you can’t be sure of how secure the windows etc are until you are there. I don’t think it’d be terrible to book
it but personally I’d just book something more suited to a toddler, why add the stress and potential danger in when it’s a holiday?

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vitahelp · 21/04/2022 16:29

I stayed in a villa when my DD was 1.5 years. It was fine, it was similar to being at home so watching her all the time and closing doors when inside so she can't wander outside alone.

There will be a certain degree of uncertainty regarding safety in any holiday accommodation (balconies, stairs without stair gates etc) but you just have to be very careful and not take your eye off them. It doesn't make for the most relaxing holiday but I still enjoyed it and was glad I went.

As a side note, our villa was in France and the pool wasn't fenced. This was 2 years ago though.

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BreadInCaptivity · 21/04/2022 16:34

DH and I did it many times starting from the baby age to teens.

It's probably why they are good swimmers now.

You just have to be very careful/disciplined about pool safety.

That meant them both wearing buoyant swimwear whilst round/in the pool, always supervised (with DH and I never assuming the other was watching the children - we'd always "formally" handover "child watch" and Keeping the outside doors to the pool locked when all inside the villa so a child could not sneak out.

It was fine. The kids loved the pool and we had some great holidays.

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Wheelz46 · 21/04/2022 16:36

I suppose it depends on the layout of the villa or if the pool has a fence around it.

The villa we stayed in, the kids couldn't just wander off to the pool, it had a locked door to enter it.

If its easily accessible from the main rooms with no fence, then I would imagine it will be quite stressful.

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CottonSock · 21/04/2022 16:37

Depends where the pool is compared to villa for me. I paid for a temporary fence to be put up once, is that an option?
When dd was little we did do it without a fence but the pool was away from villa.

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KateTheEighth · 21/04/2022 16:39

You won't be able to let your toddler out of your sight at all

It will not be a relaxing holiday

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BreadInCaptivity · 21/04/2022 16:41

@Wheelz46

I suppose it depends on the layout of the villa or if the pool has a fence around it.

The villa we stayed in, the kids couldn't just wander off to the pool, it had a locked door to enter it.

If its easily accessible from the main rooms with no fence, then I would imagine it will be quite stressful.
My experience is it's not stressful as long as both parents have really clear rules in place.

IMHO the biggest risks are not locking doors to the pool when then children are inside because you're just popping in/out and assuming the other parent is watching the children.

As long as you are both disciplined on handing over child watch duties and NEVER leaving the doors unlocked when the pool is unsupervised (even if you nip out for a minute) then all is good.
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BreadInCaptivity · 21/04/2022 16:44

Sorry meant to add that it wasn't stressful at all because we had a system and so DH and I knew the children would never be unsupervised round the pool.

Of course this assumes both parents are equally safety conscious which was not a concern in my case.

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BuffyBeat · 21/04/2022 16:46

Hi Hopingforbetterluck, my advise would be to rebook your holiday and if there's a pool make sure that it's securely fenced.
I'm talking from experience here, we nearly lost our little boy at 2 in the exact same circumstances.
We were away with friends and it was our turn to cook, so I asked my friend if she would watch my Son who was playing with his cars, later out of the corner of my eye, I saw her inside, so thinking she'd left her husband to watch I went to see he was ok with it.
There was no-one there!
I started shouting and running round the pool and when I got to the other side and looked across, my Son was clinging to the side by his fingertips.
She'd "thought" her husband would keep watching but he'd wandered off as well.
I now have a fear of children and villa pools..... It only takes a second for tragedy, we were so lucky that day.

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starlingdarling · 21/04/2022 16:53

I'd rebook. My uncle's friend had to jump from the first floor balcony of a villa when his 3 year old fell in the pool. The 3 year old had been in the room with him while he was sorting something out then quietly wandered off to find her much older siblings. She was fine, he broke both legs.

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FindMeInTheSunshine · 21/04/2022 16:54


I recently read this article about the Stahl House in LA, and particularly remembered the paragraph which said:

"As toddlers, it was drummed into them that, before leaving their bedroom, they must strap life vests over their pyjamas"

I thought that was a really good idea.

Same article in the Telegraph (paywall, but you can see the top of the article), with a picture of the kids wearing their vests:

https://www.viva.co.nz/article/at-home/stahl-house/

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/art/architecture/mum-fell-side-growing-americas-famous-vertigo-inducing-home/
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Swayingpalmtrees · 21/04/2022 16:58

Many toddler die every year from drowning. Usually in the first 24 hours of arrival when the parents are tired, distracted and unpacking. It happens every single year.

Under no circumstances should you book a pool without a fence with a child that can not swim. it is so dangerous and you will not relax, even best case and you keep your eye on your child at all times. It only takes one moment to be look down, or pick up a towel that has blown away etc - thats all it takes.

I am not going to frighten you with my personal stories, but please rethink your holiday or request a pool fence and ensure it is in writing before you leave.
Sorry to scare you but my 4 year old learnt very quickly how to unlock the gate on the fence, so it needs to be VERY safe, or a fence is worse than nothing if it is insecure and you have a false sense of security

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