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Swimming Safety: All The Excuses For Not Supervising Children

Swimming Safety: Creative ways that will let your child drown

I can't believe how creative people can be when it comes to giving excuses about swimming safety.

Wait... Get Your Lesson Plans Here

As I lifeguard, swim teacher and pool duty manager I have stopped believing that I have heard all the stupid excuses there are. There is always someone that will come up with a new one. But they are still stupid.

Let me see how many excuses I can remember:

  • "My kids go to swimming lessons so I don't need to watch them".
  • Seriously! Do you know how many proficient swimmers drown with no one watching them? Just how proficient is your child?
  • "It is only shallow water".
  • Again Seriously! Do you know how many drownings there are in inches of water"?
  • "I had to take that phone call, it was important"!
  • As important as your child's life?

    And then there is:

  • "I was Just talking to my friend".
  • See above
  • "I'm having a conversation here I'm only a few feet away".
  • Are you sure because I just picked your child out of the water because they were out of their depth?
  • "I'm watching and texting as well, I'm a woman I can multitask".
  • How many times do I have to say see above
  • "You don't know what it is like I have two (or more) children to watch".
  • I raised 4 children, I have 7 grandchildren, I have been a swimming teacher for more than 20 years etc. I do know how hard it is. It's not an excuse. You do need to learn strategies but there are plenty of people to get them from; including me.
  • "I'm a competent swimmer"!
  • What does that even mean? You should know better. Get in with your child!

    Image of child slipping into pool water: be swimming safety conscious
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    Be Swimming Safety Conscious

  • "I was only out of the water for a minute".
  • That all it takes to drown. That minute could be your child's last one.
  • "I just had to go to the toilet".
  • Will the restroom give you "rest" from the pain of losing a child through drowning? Really? Take the child with you.
  • "My children do swimming lessons at school".
  • So you don't even know your child's swimming ability and you are prepared to risk their lives on an assumption.
  • "My older child is looking after them". (This ages range has been from as young as 7yo to 15yo nonswimmers)
  • Even if that older child can swim they are children themselves. I know that some children can be very responsible but why are you, the adult who is present, making a child take on the responsibility of an adult when you are present?

    This one is my personal biggest mind boggles:

  • "We're from Queensland, so my kids are perfect swimmers".
  • For those who know little about Australia, Queensland is a state of Australia and I want to say that one of my sons with his wife and 2 of my grandchildren live in Queensland: Thank God my family is not so stupid as to make such a ridiculous claim.

    I was lucky on this occasion, I was taking my turn at lifeguarding when I spoke to the gentleman who made the statement. I got to call somebody else in to deal with it. As I walked away I could see the distress on the duty managers face as he dealt with the gentleman in question.

    I have to admit, the absurdity of the situation was a source of some amusements for some time when it was all over. But it was not funny at all at the time. Not at all!

I could go on. As I said the list could be endless.

I would never speak to a customer the way I have spoken here of course but here I get to vent and it is my hope that someone will read this and just stop and think before they allow themselves to look for an excuse not to supervise their child around water.


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