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Thread: Sort of off topic: What are your pool rules?

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    Sort of off topic: What are your pool rules?

    Just wondering what you all have for pool rules. My sister thinks I'm no fun because I don't allow any jumping off the edges or ladder, obviously no diving, and I'm pretty strict about horse play (holding each other down). I have a 6 year old and a 9 year old so I want to instill good habits in the name of safety. I am always in the pool when they are, or I sit on the ladder like a lifegaurd. I don't even let my kids into the fenced area of the pool unless me or my husband are there. (I don't think the 6 year old could get into the pool without the ladder down, but you never know).

    When the kids have a friend over, I make those that cannot touch the bottom with their head out of the water wear a life jacket or their parent needs to be in the pool with them, (I make my young one wear a life jacket to be fair) No matter how good of a swimmer their parent says they are.

    So when it comes to having people over, we haven't invited people (other than 1 neighbor kid) yet. 1. I feel like we have sacrificed a lot and want to enjoy what we worked so hard to have. 2. We don't have a deck around the pool so someone has to be in the pool with the kids. 3. I can't watch them all and it is stressful just making sure my own are safe. 4. If I invite one family am I slighting the others by not inviting them too?

    What do you do for inviting people over? If you've had your pool for awhile, have you changed having kids over as your kids got older?

    We have an old neighbor who lets people swim in their pool at designated times, but they have an inground so the parents can sit on the side and watch. I just don't feel comfortable having a "party" with all the neighbors all the time. Plus how do I know how safe other people would be? It's my pool and if someone were to drown, it is my responsiblity isn't it?

    Sorry if this is off topic.
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    Re: Sort of off topic: What are your pool rools?

    you do sound a little extreem. Do you really need to sit on the top of the ladder? Can't you sit in a chair near the pool? I have two 7 year old boys and a 11 year old girl. I let them jump off of the ladder but the wife doesn't. I sit near the pool facing the pool. I can see the tops of their heads when they are in the pool. Also just being able to hear them is good.

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    elwood58's Avatar
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    Re: Sort of off topic: What are your pool rools?

    Not off topic, and a good discussion. We have an in ground pool, but agree with many points you make. Parents are required to watch their children in our pool too. We have as many as five to six of our Grandkids in the pool at one time, and try to make sure there are multiple adults watching at all times. The little ones wear flotation, and we have a safety rope across the middle of our play pool as an extra measure.

    With AGPs, it is important to limit the number of inflatable pool toys in the pool, as these can make keeping track of everyone a challenge.

    Stress to invited guests that fun and safety are your primary objective, which should be reason enough to not invite everyone at the same time. Besides, inviting everybody at once usually backfires anyway, as nobody likes an overcrowded pool. Next thing you know, nobody shows up.

    Set the rules, stick to them, and enjoy your pool.
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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Sort of off topic: What are your pool rools?

    Being that it is above ground pool with no deck to allow viewing into the pool, I would prefer to be IN the pool as well.

    What you really need is a life guard stand LOL (seriously). That way you can be comfortable, the kids can be safe, and they can jump off the ladder.....of course you would need to jump into the pool from the stand but that is what life guards do....

    It's your pool and they are your rules. If people don't like them they don't have to swim.

    Don't know if it's true or not but have you read this http://mariovittone.com/2010/05/154/

    http://www.rd.com/advice/parenting/8-qu ... -drowning/
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    elwood58's Avatar
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    Re: Sort of off topic: What are your pool rools?

    Harleysilo

    Thanks for including those links. It is also very true. Our son is in the Coast Guard, and has told a few stories about how quietly people can drown. The point about TV skewing what we think drowning is is also true. The yelling and arm flailing still happen sometimes, but as mentioned in the article, those are the ones still able to assist in their own rescue.
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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Sort of off topic: What are your pool rools?

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    Re: Sort of off topic: What are your pool rools?

    This has been a topic at our house lately since the pool just went in -- we haven't even been in it yet!! If you have guests over, it is reasonable to ask them to be in the water with their children. I would not supervise my kids from a chair poolside without a deck because you can NOT see if the kids are safe. I have a hard time reaching over the wall of the pool it's so high, so I think you're being reasonable being in the water. The jumping from the ladder is pretty low risk, unless your steps move and you're worried about ladder damaging the liner. Climbing out and walking on the walls is another story. My 6 year old is just getting her gills so I've been encouraging her to swim without wings, but when she's in without them I am vigilant in watching her constantly. I think it's a great topic. I can't wait to invite people over but too many isn't fun, it's one reason we don't enjoy the Y pool because it's crowded! As for kids without their own parents, that really depends on the kid. My 11 year old will have a bud over tomorrow for his birthday and I'll let them swim but 11 is a lot different than 6... so it depends.

    It has to be fun, and if having kids you aren't familiar with makes you feel anxious then no one is going to enjoy it so you have to trust your instincts. I believe you are correct, the homeowner is liable if anything happens so safety first!

    Love the lifeguard chair!! ya know, in lieu of a deck that's not a really far fetched idea.....
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    Re: Sort of off topic: What are your pool rules?

    Sorry for my typo. I see you all understood that I meant Rules...not ROOLS!

    Yeah, I have to be in the pool because the pool is built into a slope. I have to stand on my tip-toes to see inside. I could be on the shallow side, but there is no way I could get in fast enough to rescue my little one. She's a pretty good swimmer, but sometimes I see her get caught up in a tube and those are the situations I worry about for any person in the pool.

    Thanks for the advice on too many people. I think I'll continue to keep our pool fun for our family and if my 6 year old wants her friend to come over, then her family can come, but I'm not going to feel guilty about the neighbors that never talk to us anyway. They've never invited us out on their boat or over for inflatable slide parties, so why should I feel guilty??

    I might be the party pooper, but it would be a huge downer if something bad happened on my watch. I could never forgive myself. I'll keep my gate locked and enforce my rules. As the kids get older, I'll allow them to swim without me in the pool *but watching from our house deck*. Or maybe we'll have a nice deck around the pool by then!!!
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    Re: Sort of off topic: What are your pool rules?

    We designed our pool keeping in mind our own life guarding capabilities. I wanted a pool I could easily see everyone in and one I was sure I could personally pull anybody out of. We have a half circle area at the shallow end where mothers with babies just learning to swim can sit. There is no diving well or board. THAT cuts down a LOT of worry. Nobody seems to miss one. It's fifty feet long but only about five feet deep at the deep end. Grandkids and their friends have grown up with our pool. No probs with rough housing. We do have a "time out" spot, but we've never used it. I think the secret to pool safety for guests is inviting the right guests.

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    Re: Sort of off topic: What are your pool rules?

    One of our biggest rules is no climbing over the edge of the pool. We've had several issues with the liner pulling away from the sides and have had to drain the pool to fix it in the past. All the kids in the family know's....climb over the side, you will be in trouble!

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    Re: Sort of off topic: What are your pool rules?

    I have 7 grand kids from the age of 14 months to 16 years old. Older ones can invite a friend and I will sit on the lower deck and read. I don't feel like I need to be right on top of them. Little ones need constant watching and I will get in or assign one of the teens each a little one to watch for a set time. I do let them jump off the deck into the pool. The 5 year old uses a ring to hold herself above water. I also let the 5 year old sit on the wedding steps but not the older ones. I don't allow food or drinks on the upper deck. They are required to put the solar cover on before getting out and to hang up their towels.
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    Re: Sort of off topic: What are your pool rules?

    I think this is very much 'on topic' and a good discussion that must be had. Our pool is at our holiday home in Italy, we invite lots of people to stay, many with children. I write to EVERYBODY along the lines of " we have a deep pool with no fence or alarm, if you cannot or will not supervise your children AT ALL TIMES" , do not come. I mean it, call me a party pooper but dragging a lifeless little body out will make nobody's day. Make the rules, stick to them, enjoy, everybody will respect you for them.
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    Re: Sort of off topic: What are your pool rules?

    First - It is your pool and your rules, as many others have stated above me if guests don't like the rules then they don't have to swim

    Second - LOVE the lifeguard chair
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    Re: Sort of off topic: What are your pool rules?

    Good for you, mine are about the same, a little diff for 13 y.o., I keep watch closely, but usually don't monitor continuously. Since he and friends are older, do let them splash around a bit, but no rough play, if they start to get a little out of hand, I use a brass whistle I use on the playground for subbing, it is an old acme whistle marked London, so I always say it is a Bobby's whistle! It's great because they can hear it when they can't hear me esp. If music is on. When they hear it, they know to chill out. I wouldn't let little ones inw/o a life jacket also unless parents right there holding them. Water wings, I don't like because they can deflate and give false sense of security. I'd say you are on target, and I love the chair... Wish I had one, tho prob. Wouldn't use it much as would with younger ones.. Going to fwd to other friends tho
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    Re: Sort of off topic: What are your pool rules?

    I have a no horse play rule too. My boys are 10 and 12. The other day my oldest had a friend over. I said no dunking. Turned my back for a moment, (literally!) and when I turned back around my son was upset and gasping. The other boy had put his legs over his shoulder and held him down. I reiterated that THAT was the precise reason for the no horse play rule, I didn't make it to be mean. I get nervous when my SIL brings her 4 and 6 Y/o down, as she doesn't get in the pool with them. I won't let them swim unless I am in there or their mom is their. (Though she doesn't watch them as closely as I would at that age.) I think I didn't let my kids swim without me in the pool until they were 8 & 10 or so. If there are littler kids in the pool, or many kids in, I don't allow jumping off the ladder, and absolutely no diving. A neighbor of mine ending up paralyzed from diving into a shallow pool a while back.
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    Re: Sort of off topic: What are your pool rules?

    In addition to all the rules for supervising children, one rule we enforce with gestapo-like fervor with ALL guests is: NO GLASS by the pool!! We have a whole set of plastic mugs, plastic wine glasses, plastic tumblers, etc. just for the pool.

    It took one broken wine glass at the bottom of our pool the first year we owned it to set us straight forevermore.
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    Re: Sort of off topic: What are your pool rules?

    If you are comfortable, your pool rules are right for your family. I did not look at the link for the lifeguard chair plans, but I would wonder if it could be used like a ladder and allow someone to climb in even when the pool ladder was not accessible.

    I have two six year olds. We keep the water so the shorter one can still "touch" - although she stays on tip toes most of the time to really be out of the water. In years past they were only allowed in the pool with an adult. If the adult got out, they got out -- no exceptions, even if the adult was just going to be gone an instant -- bright line rules worked well with little kids and establishing that pool rules were serious business.

    This year that rule has been relaxed. Now, I'll lifeguard from the patio which abuts the pool. They get better playtime without me in the pool - that is, they use their imaginations to play "seal" or "shark" or whatever better with just themselves -- if I am in the pool, they both just want to hang on me and have me a constant part of their water play.

    I foresee allowing them to swim for short time periods with me in the kitchen -- I can see the pool surface from that window. Haven't done that yet, but the kids are pretty comfortable in the water and also pretty mellow - no roughhousing in their genes. In fact, I truly fear that my older twin will fall asleep on a floaty!

    As for friends: if they can touch, and are comfortable diving for diving toys, I'm okay letting them play in the pool while I'm on the patio - assuming their parent has approved that plan. I don't trust those kids not to roughhouse, so I stay very close. Again, the kids like having the adult out of the pool for a time, and then often ask the adult to get in to change up the pool play.

    Tag-along little siblings of friends need a parent in the pool. I will spell the parent for short periods, but that little kid is 100% their responsibility if they want them in the pool. I have floaty things of all sorts for kids of all ages, but regardless of whether wearing a floaty or not, one adult for every kid who can't touch (granted, all of the siblings we know are about 2 yoa, so this is a no-brainer.)

    We let them jump off the ladder - they love it and I've never had any fear safety-wise to the kids or damage-wise to the liner (then again, I buy disposable pools). No one we know can dive, so that has not been a factor yet. Our main ladder rule is only ONE person on the ladder at a time -- those Intex ladders are a bit rickety and once I thought it would topple as my daughter was climbing out on the outside part -- thus, kid B getting out has to wait til kid A is all the way on the patio before getting on the water side of the ladder to get out.

    Break one of my few "safety rules" (which are well explained to visitors and their parents) and you are done swimming for the day, no matter how early in the day it is -- do that once to one kid and word gets around (trust me, I did it two years ago to Will (then 4 yoa) and he still remembers it and I've heard him warn others not to break a safety rule or they'll have to go home!)
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    Samantha Sabrina's Avatar
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    Re: Sort of off topic: What are your pool rules?

    Great topic!

    The way I see it, Your/My house, pool, responsibility, Your/My Rules, PERIOD, if you don't like it there is the door.

    Everyone should set their own rules to suit their comfort level, and their willingness to accept the responsibilty AND Consequences if something should go badly.

    Me personally, I will "error" on the side of caution anyday rather than have a serious situation develope that might put someone at risk of harm or DEATH.

    Fortunately, out here were we live children are the least of our worries, lol, and pretty much adults too other the us, we just don't get much company, nobody can find us, giggles.
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