Single Dad Shunned at Swimming Pool

Filed under: Opinions

A swiming poolCertainly, Phillip Smith's two sons, five-year-old Jake and three-year-old Aiden need to be supervised when in a swimming pool. How much supervision they require depends upon a number of factors: their familiarity with and abilities in the water, the type and depth of the pool, and the aquatic abilities of those doing the supervising. Given that Smith is a firefighter and that the pool in question features a pirate ship with slides and what appears to be fairly shallow water, I would say that Smith could probably take care of both kids by himself.

He thought so too, but Hillsborough Leisure Centre in Sheffield, UK, disagreed and turned him away. "As a fireman, I'm highly trained and expected to be able to provide first aid at emergencies," said Smith. "To say I cannot cope with looking after my two sons at a swimming pool is just mad." The center maintains a strict one-to-one policy for children under the age of eight and refused to admit them. "I discussed the situation at length with the duty manager," fumed Smith, adding that "the manager refused to do anything but hide behind policy."

Now I understand the center's desire for safety, but it seems to me that their policy might just be a little over the top. If they are having to turn away parents who feel there is no need for such concern, there might just be something wrong with the way they are doing things. One obvious (albeit expensive) solution would be to add more staff. Another is to allow parents to take responsibility for their own children's safety.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.