You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Top Stories

Mom Stirs Debate Over Whether She's 'Obligated' to Watch Unsupervised Kids at the Pool

Mom.me logo Mom.me 6/12/2019 Genny Glassman

a person swimming in water: at-the-Pool © Provided by RockYou Media(mom.me; purpleclover.com) at-the-Pool ljubaphoto/iStock

Now that summer's finally here (yes!) it's time to pull on your swimsuit and spend those long, summer days in the pool. But as every parent knows, it also means that you have to stay alert and keep an eye on your kiddos at all times. Unfortunately, not every parent is fabulous about this 100 percent of the time, and what if you notice other young kids who are unsupervised at your pool? Is it your responsibility to stick around and watch them, too? That's the question that one mom is asking after ending up the "lifeguard" on duty for her apartment complex's pool. "I didn’t sign up for being a lifeguard all summer," she wrote. (Mom.me cannot independently verify the authenticity of her account.)

The frustrated mom explained that more often than not, she ends up watching all of the kids who use her condo building's shared pool because the other parents don't.

a close up of a newspaper: reddit-pool © Provided by RockYou Media(mom.me; purpleclover.com) reddit-pool Reddit

Although she only has one child, the mom explained on Reddit that she often takes on the role of watching all the kids who are using their communal pool. "When we go swimming other kids flock to the pool which is not a problem at all. The problem is, when we get out, I’m ready to go...but I feel like I have assumed responsibility at that point and can’t leave kids swimming alone," she wrote.

And quite frankly, this anonymous mom is sick of it.

While she realizes that other parents might feel like their kids are fine to swim on their own, the mom has seen horseplay that makes her concerned.

a close up of a bottle: reddit-swimming-pool © Provided by RockYou Media(mom.me; purpleclover.com) reddit-swimming-pool Reddit

The mom knows there are multiple reasons other parents bail: some might assume that since she's already at the pool all day, she might as well watch their kids. Others are at work and don't realize it's happening. And some parents might feel that their kids are old enough and fine to play there by themselves. "Well I can tell you based on the behaviors I see, they are not fine to swim alone," she wrote. "Some of the kids tell me they have permission to swim as long as an adult is watching. Well I’m here, but I didn’t sign up for being a lifeguard all summer."

And because she's the one who has been around, she's seen for herself some behavior that suggests these "older" kids still aren't old enough to be unsupervised. "Today I had to stop one from dragging the other to the bottom of the pool when he was already out of air," she wrote. "The kid came up choking and crying. If I had not stopped the kid who knows how much longer he would have held the other under."

Most of these kids are about 9 to 13 years old, she noted.

RELATED VIDEO: The ABCs of pool safety [Provided by Breakfast Television]

UP NEXT
UP NEXT

"What should I do? I don’t want to be held captive at the pool all summer," she asked. So should she leave the kids to fend for themselves or should she buy herself a whistle and call herself the unofficial lifeguard?

Most parents agreed that this was a recipe for disaster and many urged her to go to her condo board and let them set new rules for the community pool.

"This seems like something to bring up with the condo board or [management]," one parent wrote.

"I second board management," another commenter added. "I would be shocked if there wasn’t a strict rule about adult supervision for minors, as in their own adults it absolutely isn’t your responsibility. If you go to the parents directly and tell them and they dismiss you of the burden of watching by saying the kids will be fine you undoubtedly would be worried still. If the board comes at them and threatens possible fines they might do something about it."

And another parent offered a solution for watching kids at the pool. "Our approach is we will keep half an eye on everyone else while we are down there, but when my kids are ready to get out, we leave," the parent wrote. "Unless I am specifically asked to watch you kid, I am not going to spend all hours of my day being an unpaid (and unqualified) lifeguard. I know how cold and clinical that sounds. But at the end of the day you can't be everywhere at once." 

But one selfless person argued that he or she wouldn't mind watching after other kids if it meant that everyone stayed safe.

"I don't mind sitting outside by the pool and keeping an eye on the kids," the user wrote. "It's just a nice thing to do. The kids get to play, not their fault that their parents suck. Or some may have a caretaker with a severe disability. I guess I don't get what the deal is. Maybe because I'm from a small town? [I don't know]."

However, it might be fair to say that the original poster wrote her post because she doesn't have the time to hang out at the pool when her kids are done swimming.

This story was originally published on Mom.me sister site CafeMom.

AdChoices

More from Mom.me

AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon