Swimming on their Own

On May Day, we brought the kids out for a swim at our regular club. The club has two pools, a normal “big” pool that is 1.2m-1.8m-1.2m deep and a kids pool that is really shallow and comes with a slide and some kids water feature.

That day when we reach, there were two boys and an Indian family already in the pool. The two boys were primary school going kids. But I think maybe lower primary or the elder brother maybe a P5 at most. So they were playing in the pool on their own. I didn’t see their parents around. We brought some toys to the pool as my niece isn’t really into swimming. When the boys see the “water gun”, they took it and play without even asking us if they could borrow. And my boy was a little “furious” cause someone is playing with his toy. But we told him to share since he doesn’t really play it and there were other “toys” for him. So he got distracted and left the two boys alone.

After sometime, the boys starts “spraying” water at each other cause they have another of the “water gun”. And sometimes the water got sprayed onto my kids. I’m totally fine with it except that it got into my girl as well. And she is a little too young for that. We tried telling them to be careful. After a while somebody asked for their water gun back. That’s when I know that the gun belongs to someone else. And left with only one gun left, they started spraying around into the air. And again it got into my daughter. Chubby told them gently that they should be careful of the baby.

Other then that, the boys are rather okie. They will play with my boy and nieces. So the swim went by uneventful. And I brought my girl up first since she can’t really swim for that long and went for my bath after I’m done bathing her and left her sleeping in her stroller under the watch of my SIL helper.

When I came back after my shower, the kids have all gone for their shower. My SIL was looking after my two kids as my boy have also finish showering and then she went for her shower. When Chubby came out he told me about the incident. Apparently, the little boy almost drown during the short time I was away for my shower.

According to Chubby, the boys were playing at the baby pool. And after a while, the elder brother probably got tired of it, got out and jumped into the adult pool. The younger brother followed and jumped in without thinking. BUT he is not 1.2m yet. So he struggled in the water. The elder brother tried to help but in the first place he is not a very good swimmer, and probably also doesn’t have enough strength to help his brother. By the time Chubby notice it, he quickly left my boy with my SIL and tried to go help but by then the boys domestic helper has already ran to them and help pull the younger brother out. Later on when Chubby went to the boys to get back our toys, he asked them where is their parents. According to the boys, their father is playing badminton in the hall, and they are left with the helper.

This set me thinking. Is is really safe to place your boys under just the “supervision” of the helper? Maybe the father thought the boys are old enough. But kids being kids can just forget about safety the moment they got too engross in their play. Plus with just the helper is it enough? Does the helper knows how to swim? Does she knows what she needs to do if the boys are in some kind of danger? Besides, does he knows that his younger child has not reach the height for the 1.2m pool?

For myself, I think I wouldn’t leave my kids alone in the pool until they are probably in Secondary school? And most likely upper Sec? But that reminds me again that I can’t swim well, if anything happens what should I do? I think I need to get a whistle so I can blow it and catch other swimmers attention should anything happen.

So whats your take? When should we learn to let go at the pool?

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