Frustration, trying to be respected as a responsible adult.

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  • #16900 Report

    Leggy86lulu
    Participant

    I just really wanted somewhere to vent my frustaration. I’m a single mum of 3 children (9,7 and 2). I was trying to take 2 of my children on an afternoon out (after school) to the swimming baths. I was turned away as their policy is 1:1 or 2 adult and upto 4 children under 8. I feel like I’m being barred from an important service and not able to participate in certain things. I understand safety issues (I hold a full first aid certificate too) but feel like I’m only seen as responsible if I have another adult with me. I chose this swimming pool specifically for the specialised children’s pool which has a 0.04 meter starting point so is perfect for toddlers (we also packed arm bands for safety). None of this seemed to matter to the receptionist, I had a break down and cried on the floor surrounded by our swimming bags and 2 upset children. Has anybody else encountered this bias? How am I supposed to teach my children this life skill if we can’t even enter a pool? The staff completely ignored my melt down choosing to walk past me with no eye contact, we managed to get a lift home but we had to wait nearly 1hr, I was in no state to get on public transport.

    #16902 Report

    Westernchampion
    Participant

    That’s seems harsh. Clearly it varies from pool to pool as I went swimming recently with two children (5+6) and didn’t have any issue. You would think they would have been a bit more sympathetic. Are there other pool nearby that maybe will allow it?

     

    #16903 Report

    Leggy86lulu
    Participant

    Most of the pools nearby are owed and run by the council so have the same policy’s in place, reading up most pools operate on a 1:3 or 1:2 basis unless they operate a wave machine which this one doesn’t, I can only assume that they don’t employ enough life guards to man the pool which really should be corrected as a council run facility which should be useable by all of the community.

    #16911 Report

    Leggy86lulu
    Participant
    • I agree that my children are completely my responsibility but it is quite insulting really to assume that two children of different ages cannot have their needs met by one adult. My day job is as a childminder (hell yes I’m a badass single parent who runs her own business). My day job is to met the needs of 6 children of different ages from under 12 months to 5 years old and it can be done, risk assessment of a situation is done every single day and believe it or not there are more risks in a family home than at a public swimming baths (the main risks at a pool being slip and trip hazards and drowning). I took time off to attend my sons parents evening and decided that family time was important. My son functions at a lower age range than expected and enjoys the swimming baths for water play rather than actually swimming so the toddler end of the pool is perfect for both of them, with pool toys packed to entertain both and arm bands for both of them to increase the level of safety. For a receptionist to judge an adult so quickly and assume that I wouldn’t think in terms of safety is insulting too. There are risks in everything we do as parents and minimising risks helps but there are allowable risks that inhance a child’s learning.
    #16912 Report

    Leggy86lulu
    Participant

    For an organisation to say that they are family friendly and provide access to all of the community but then don’t is a failure on their part, not providing staff to insure safe use of the facility’s is a failure on the organisations part. The council have recently started an initiative to provide free swimming to under 8’s as a way of family’s accessing the service which becomes useless if only ‘family’s’ with 2 adults can use the service. No where on their website do they state their ratio policy so adults won’t know until they turn up. I find this unaceptable and wrong to judge single parents and assume that a job they do everyday (general child care and safety just being a parent) will suddenly change because there is water around. The facility should work harder to be inclusive to every family wishing to go. Understanding the struggles of single parents is important in every aspect of their life from helping with education and job options to just enjoying family life. If they made the pool more accessible it would greatly improve the opertunities of parents and children alike, they could specifically station more lifeguards on after school sessions and weekends when family’s are more likely to visit. It’s hypocritical to assume that a family is only responsible if there are two adults present.

    #16915 Report

    Leggy86lulu
    Participant

    It is discrimination if it goes against the advice of the CIMSPA advice that is issued and accessible to both facility management and parents. The fact that a parent has taken extra caution should be taken into consideration and the base line for all pools is a 1:2 ratio. If extra care is taken with regards to flotation devices or areas specifically for younger children and toddlers are available the ratio should be increased to 1:3 this is national advice that is issued to make sure that facilities are both safe and accessible to all users, this is also to stop unsupervised bodies of water being used instead (not that that is something I would use) it also advises that communication between the service provider and parent is maintained and that exceptions can be made when there is proof of first aid understanding and extra safety measures are take (again floatations devices that are certified) parents should also be in the pool with children at all times and supervision in the changing rooms is needed (I was going to be in the pool and changing with both of them). The fact that none of this was taken into consideration and that communication was severed by the person dealing with me and my family is unacceptable. There should have been mediation, pool managers could have assisted in the situation but where not. The fact that something like this is just brushed off should not be ignored, access to services should be far better than it is. Being able to swim and water safety is a life skill but barring family’s from access is wrong, it’s not just a fun day out it’s a learning experience for children of any age.

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