I would love others input on this.
My in-laws have a backyard swimming pool, and watch my son (he's 2.5 years old) one day a week. They also watch their other two grandchildren (my son's cousins), ages 7 and 4, occasionally.
My husband and I am preparing to have a conversation with my in-laws about pool safety, as we're not sure they are on the same page as us.
The 7 year old cousin thinks she can swim (she can't without floaties), does not listen well to authority, and I am afraid of her opening the back door and my son following his older cousins into the pool. I can not even THINK about what could happen.
I have talked with my in-laws about installing a door lock high on the back door (just a simple chain lock) that the kids can not reach. However, they were not interested in doing this last year, so I'm going to try the conversation again. Even if I "win" this time, I'm not there to enforce that the door is always locked, and only an adult may unlock it every single time.
What measures, as a concerned parent (who would like my son to spend quality time with his grandparents) should I negotiate versus stand firm on?
My preference would be to have a pool gate installed (my husband and I would even pay for this), but they are not open to this idea.
Are there pool covers that could prevent a drowning?
What other physical barriers/safety measures are available that work?
I realize the best plan for safety is prevention, and we will begin a series of talks with everyone involved; first my in-laws, then my brother-in-law and sister-in-law...to make sure we're all in 100% agreement...then the kids will be brought in to understand rules, expectations and consequences.
Even with these talks, assuming they all go perfectly well, I am still afraid of a cousin disobeying rules (happens frequently), and their consequence may be a timeout...what if one time the consequence is more severe (the 2 or 4 year old falls into the pool). I do not want to be overbearing or paranoid, but this could happen so easily. What is the balance of being respectful and not going overboard with my demands. What can I expect them to do as physical barriers?
Sorry this ended up being so long...I'm just trying to figure out what to do with this scenario, and would love to hear from other parents and those that own pools in their backyard.
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