Published On: Wed, Feb 11th, 2015

Having a kids pool party? Are you bloody stupid! Girl drowns during birthday song.

Danielle Mantakoul

Danielle Mantakoul

BA of Ed Early Childhood and Editor at Mummy Weekly
She's described as one of the most engaging & dynamic speakers in the early childhood industry today, now having educated hundreds of thousands of parents & teachers. She has lectured for organisations such as KU Children’s Services, Only About Children, Qantas, National Australia Bank, Child Protection Australia, Goodstart and hundreds of council & private centres. She also developed and ran the popular parenting series for the Australian Financial Review.
Danielle Mantakoul

In kindergarten my daughter aged 6 was invited tPool Partyo a party by a classmate. When I read the invitation I was surprised to see that it was a pool party. I was not sure in that moment how I felt about this but quickly decided that my uncertainty was due to a lack of experience in 6 year old parties.

We responded with an acceptance much to the excitement of my daughter but the deal was, I would go with her. I was assured during a phone call there would be lots of adults around supervising and not to worry. On arrival there were lots of adults around the pool area, but there were also lots of kids. Now remember, these are mostly kindergarten kids aged 5 and 6.

Some parents had in fact stayed like myself, but some had chosen to leave. The host joked with me on arrival that one little girls mother had dropped her off, and when asked if she could swim the host was told “yes yes,” but on jumping in the pool sunk like a stone.

I watched those kids like a hawk, in fact so much so I didn’t eat, drink or make eye contact with whoever I was chatting to. Relax you say? Well if I had have relaxed, or heaven forbid not gone with her, my daughter just might not be here.

At the deep end of the pool was a big blow up slide, and down that slide came a child on top of 3 other children. Floatation devices went everywhere and kids including my daughter went to the bottom. New shoes and all I was in that pool.

In June 2014, a 4 year old downed at a pool party when guests turned their attention to sing happy birthday to another child. In January 2015, a 7 year old boy drowned at a pool party because it simply went un-noticed that he got himself into water too deep. I could go on.

I have no doubt, some will read this and argue that accidents happen and we can’t wrap our kids in cotton wool. I agree. But when you take on the responsibility of other people’s children, pool parties are a most understated risk. Drowning is quiet, and while you might be confident with your own child’s ability around water, you will have little idea about the confidence level of other people’s children. 5 and 6 year olds are no-where near confident swimmers, and for many of them, a pool experience may be few and far between.

If you have received a pool party invitation as I have in the last week, YOU MUST GO with your child. Because I can almost guarantee, that no-one will watch your child like you, and this is no-where more important than around water.

By Danielle Mantakoul
Copyright 2015
www.mummyweekly.com.au 

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  1. Nadine says:

    A friend of mine accompanied her 8 yr old daughter to a pool party. There were lots of kids in the pool including younger siblings and friends. My friend didn’t move from the pool area – but the birthday girl’s mother never came outside – she was inside with some other Mum’s drinking! Fortunately there were no accidents – but my friend never allowed her daughter to go there again…

  2. Kara says:

    Thanks for bringing this issue up. Totally agree.

  3. Jessica says:

    My daughter has been asking me for a pool party for the last 2 years and each time I have seriously contemplated it. I shall contemplate no more!

  4. Brooke says:

    I agree with you Danielle. If it were my child I would be going to the pool party too or if I wasn’t welcome, I would not allow my child to go. The safety of our children is our own responsibility, no one else’s.

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