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Thread: Swimming Safety Argument

  1. #1

    Swimming Safety Argument

    Let me say upfront, our whole family can swim and I grew up swimming and have no particular fear of water. We love swimming pools, the beach and going to the river.

    That being said, my husband has a friend who lives on a lake and owns a couple paddle boards and small canoe. When we go over, I like to insist that our three girls (14, 11 and 10) wear lifejackets, unless they are just diving off the dock and right where we can see them. I have reminded my husband of this several times and it always seems like a source of contention. He says I just don't like lakes, but I know of too many drownings in lakes through my life in particular.

    Cut to today, I come to pick up the husband and kids and find him on the deck with his friend and the girls along with their friends about 200 yards out in the middle of the lake (far enough away we can't tell who's who by their faces). They have a paddle board and a boat, but aren't near them at all, they are just swimming around enjoying themselves. The lifejackets are on the deck and there is no way we could swim out to them in time if something happened. They had been at the lake for about 5 hours playing and exhausting themselves before I showed up.

    I don't know what to do, am I over reacting? Am I just badgering him because I think he doesn't take swimming or water safety seriously? I can't be there all the time and I know when I'm not, they probably aren't being closely watched or made to wear life jackets. My husband's friend doesn't make his kid wear one. I know he will say that the other kids don't have to wear one.

    Be honest, am I overdoing it or what should I say? He will pay me lip service if I say something, but I don't think he will do anything differently.

  2. #2
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    We've had a number of drownings in the lakes in my area. Every summer.
    I would be all Mama Bear about this. Have him talk to the pediatrician perhaps? Or some kind of authority on the subject? I tell my child -who is 11 "telling me what other parents let their kids do is the worst argument you can make".

    I agree with you. This is worth the lip service. Life jackets or they can't go. The end.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Do not leave your children alone with him. He is lazy careless and apparently doesn't know drowning is the leading cause of death in children under 14.

    Unfortunately you are both at fault. Stop kowtowing to an ignorant husband and putting your kids at risk so he and his friend can a hang out on a deck and drink beer and you can run off somewhere.

    Educate yourself: [Register to see the link]

    Originally Posted by TownsendLife
    I like to insist that our three girls (14, 11 and 10) wear lifejackets

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Lambert's Avatar
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    Maybe you can take another approach and talk to the children.

    I think you are 100% correct to insist on life jackets. I hate to say, well your hubs would feel like you know what if something happens because I would not wish that on anyone.

    I'm with you. I'd be pretty ticked.

    Maybe you can talk to him away from this situation... like when you guys are relaxed and enjoying yourselves... and you can express how you feel in a less nagging/bossy "do it now" way.

    Explaining your thoughts and fears, asking for understanding and support. You love your life and your family. An ounce of prevention.... blah blah

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member lostandhurt's Avatar
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    The kids are to young not to be wearing life jackets.

    Where I live it is the law that children under 18 must wear a jacket out on the water unless swimming near shore.

    You are not over reacting and he might not agree with you but he should abide by your wishes.

    If that doesn't work then they don't go over there without you being present.

    Lost

  7. #6
    Platinum Member itsallgrand's Avatar
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    You aren't over reacting at all.
    I'm a total fish, and there's no way there would be kids without life jackets in the lake. It's basic safety 101.
    And if the kids took swimming lessons, they know that too.
    If you can't trust your husband to follow the rules, personally I wouldn't let the kids go unless you are there. It's just not worth it.

  8. #7
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    I will speak from the other side of what can happen when we underestimate the danger presented by water:

    Many years ago now, my ex-boyfriend and two friends took a small sailboat a large lake one summer evening (well before dark.) They were late teens - early 20s in age, all decent swimmers. Some hours later, the neighbour noticed the boat wasn't back at the dock, and the boys were nowhere to be found. He altered the coast guard.

    The next day, the boat was found some distance from the shore. It had capsized. Nobody near the boat. A search team recovered one of the boys from the lake later that afternoon, deceased. The other two, my ex included, were never found. All three presumed drowned. We can only assume none of them had been wearing life-jackets, as the life-jackets kept with the boat were found, still inside their compartment on board. I can't even begin to describe the agony all of us felt, watching the search parties and dive teams go out on the lake day after day, and still never finding the other two. After 7-10 days (if memory serves; the timeline is a blur from the trauma) the search was called off and everyone had to return home to prepare for 3 funerals - two of which were held for the boys who we couldn't even bring home to properly put to rest. If I'd had any idea the last time I saw my ex before he went to meet those two friends would be the last time I would ever see him again, well...how we all wish some things in life were different.

    It's been more than 20 years and we still have no idea what happened that evening. Weather patterns indicated no storms, strong winds, or anything of the sort. The autopsy on my friend who was found revealed a negligible amount of alcohol and no other intoxicant in his system. Three families totally devastated. A memorial charity was later created by the families to promote water safety. They work hard to make people understand just how dangerous water can be, and how little time it actually takes for something to go disastrously wrong.

    Are you over-reacting, OP? Not even a little. I realize my experience is a rare one, but let me tell you, I have never looked at the water the same way again. I want to shake some sense into people who are so reckless with it, and make them sit and listen to how it feels to lose someone you love to the water. I want to make them hear how much pain they could save themselves and their loved ones by doing the very simple thing of wearing a life jacket. I want to tell them how I can't ever return to the beloved lake where this happened, knowing that on some level, the boy I loved is still out there. I want to tell them how every year on the anniversary of their passing, 6 grieving mothers and fathers go to that lake to sit with their sons' spirits for a while, before they place flowers in the water before sundown. That is where they have say goodbye now.

    Don't let you or your husband join those 6 broken-hearted moms and dads. Insist on life-jackets.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member melancholy123's Avatar
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    Let me say I cant swim. My kids and husband can swim, all pretty well, too. There is no way I'd let any kid go out in the water without a life jacket. Sh*t can happen in a blink of an eye and then someone drowns. Your husband is a jerk and fool to not insist on life jackets.

    You could talk to someone at the fire dept or a police officer and surely there'll be someone there that has had to drag a dead body out of the water and that person could have survived if wearing a life jacket. This would be non negotiable for me.

  10. #9
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    I was a competitive swimmer in high school and college. Swam like a fish. I was a lifeguard too in college.

    I always insist anyone on a boat in a river or in a lake wears a life vest.

    Why? Because accidents happen. It has nothing to do with a person's swimming ability in a controlled environment such as swimming pool.

    A father who won't protect his young children from danger? Shame on him. he is a negligent idiot, sorry.

    Ignore his stupidity and protect your children.

  11. #10
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    I agree with talking to him one more time, calmly and if he will listen to a professional, get a professional to talk to him.

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