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Mum (Mom) or Dad: Who is Worse At The Pool?

Mum (Mom) or Dad: Who is Worse At The Pool?

So Just who is worst at supervising their children at the pool? Is it Mum (Mom) or Dad? In my experience: The answer is Clearly Dads!

Warning Rant Coming!

You know as a man I have long heard how bad women are when it comes to talking and how easily they are distracted; making them poor drivers, and generally unsafe when it comes to having company. Well, I'm here to tell you that I think that is all poppycock!

Picture of a man looking at his phone whilst in the pool. Mum (Mom) or Dad: Who is Worse At The Pool?
Abu Sayeed Ibn Muktar on Unsplash

As a lifeguard and duty manager the people I have had the most trouble with safety-wise, have by far been the men.

Even if the numbers of customers I had trouble with at the pool were equally distributed between men and women (and they are not. In my experience men, far out the number of women I have had to deal with in terms of poor safety around their children), men would still be worse, mostly because when you try to point out to them that their actions are unsafe they are the ones most likely to arch up as though their pride is more important to them than the safety of their child.

Now I freely admit that I have no statistics and the conflicts I have may be purely because men don't like other men telling them that they are wrong, but let me outline just three instances:

1)Dad with a phone.

Whilst I was doing my patrol around the pool, I noted a father clearly responsible for the care of his toddler but sitting on the side of the pool playing with his phone. Is their anybody out there that thinks this is a safe thing to do?

I went and spoke to the dad and explained that he needed to put away his phone and watch his child.

His first response was "yea yea I will". I walked away a bit because I have found that if you give people their dignity and walk away a bit they will often comply without any further action. But he didn't so I approached him again.

This time, however, I coped a barrage of abuse accusing me of being everything from a lifeguard Hitler to a cop in a bad mood, in the process he put away his phone. The moment he did so, whilst he was still abusing me, I said, "thank you" and walked away.

Despite his anger, from that moment on he stood watching his child. My goal had been achieved but I had to confront abuse to achieve it and the child was not safe in the meantime.

Wait... Get Your Lesson Plans Here

2)Toddler pool party with SNAG Dads

A bunch of Dads had clearly got together and decided to run a 4-year-old birthday party and give the mums a break. What nice thought.

I think so too. Sensitive New Age Guys are great. Except I spent the entire shift telling them to stop talking and go and get their children who had started to wander into danger.

They were too interested in their own conversations with the other dads to keep an eye on the precious little lives they were responsible for.

This is not Being a SNAG (Sensitive New Age Guy). This is being STUPID! (That's short for JUST PLAIN STUPID!!!!)

3)Two Dad chatting.

Two dads with toddles in the water but engrossed in their own conversation. Toddles wondering out of arms reach but always quickly returning to safety.

This is a very difficult situation for a lifeguard. Do they say something to the parent or is the parent really watching? As long as the child doesn't stray too far out of arms reach if the parent is really watching the child is relatively safe. This becomes a discretionary choice of the lifeguard. They have to assess the risk.

A few moments later, however, one child is just out of reach again, slips and goes under. Before I (the lifeguard on duty) could react the farther jumps up and lifts the child out of the water.

This is a good thing:
a) it shows that the father is watching and
b) the father will have learned a lesson and keep the child closer... or so I thought.

Not more than a couple of minutes later both the toddles are now out of reach by almost 10 meters. This is too high a risk. The dads oblivious in the middle of the pool sitting enjoying their chat.

"Dad's" I yelled. "Get closer to your children".

The response: rolled eyes and a move to that of only halved the distance.

Still, way too far for them to respond should one or both of the toddlers decided, for instance, to climb the toddler pool bars and fall in or worse fall on their heads.

"Dad's Closer" I reiterated

"Awe come on mate" was the response

"Dad's you are required to be within arms reach of your child"

"Awe come on"

"Dads you have already had a child go under now get closer"

"He didn't go under"

"He did go under, I saw it, now get closer or get out"

To cut a long story short the duty manager was called, who then reiterated my position only to have the dads say that they didn't know about the arms reach rule and it would have been nice to be told quietly.


Even if they had not been told at the front desk and everybody with a child is, there is signage all over the place.

Even if they couldn't or didn't bother to read, one of their children went under the water.

They saw it.

They picked the child out of the water.

This is not a real objection this is just denial.

Are all dads this stupid?

Absolutely Not!

Most are great carer's. But there are too many men that think taking their kids to the pool is a place so safe that you can set kids free and forget.

Wake up!

A pool is wonderful fun but unless you want dead kids you cannot set and forget. You have to be actively involved.

Come on Dad's it's time to Man Up!

No Conversation Is More Important Than Your Child!!!!!!!!!!! Stop Talking and Start Caring - Watch your child!

Rant over!

Enjoy The Water and Keep Your Child in Arms Reach     

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