Pools and Children

Does anyone have any advice on the issue of pools and sitters with children? I’ve recently moved to a house with a swimming pool. At my previous house, I did have sitters with children, but there was no pool. The danger of pools and children makes me very hesitant to consider sitters who have young children.

Do you reject all sitters with children? Do you take out any specific liability insurance? Do you accept sitters with children, but only after they have given assurances about the children’s safety?

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i don’t accept sitters with young children as our pool is not secure, has no fence, only an alarm people don’t like to switch on. It’s noizy
If a kid drowns it might be the owner’s responsability. Even If the parents have forgotten to switch on the alarm while they were away.
Too many accidents happen with young kids.
When we ran a gite, we 've seen people sleeping near a young boy 18 months old. He was on the steps of the pool. I was anxious … Even with water wings a baby can down quickly.
No insurance covers you If a mistake has been done. If the alarm has not worked.

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Hi @gerrym, can you please explain why you are worried. About the legal consequences for you or that someone could come to harm in general?

I ask because, in Germany, I would not have these thoughts. If I had a pool, I would also give a sit to families with children. In Germany, in such a case, legally, the parents alone are responsible for their children’s welfare. They have to supervise their children and make sure that nothing happens to them. I’m only liable if the pool has technical faults or does not inform them at all that there is a pool or pond in the garden. But this applies to everything that would be theoretically dangerous for children. If everything is ok, no slippery paths and enough light, everyone is responsible for themselves if something happens. This also applies to public swimming pools if the owner has done everything possible to prevent accidents during normal use.

I can only speak for us as a german sitter. We would never blame you for anything if the pool was technically ok. But with us as sitters, there would only be a giant Newfie in the pool, and he would be in it on purpose without asking us for permission :rofl:

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It is for both those reasons. The main reason is that I would find it very difficult to come to terms with the fact that a child had died in my pool. In Las Vegas, drowning is one of the biggest causes of death for children. During ‘pool season’ there are constant advertisements on the tv, warning of the dangers of pools.

I am also worried for the liability aspect. The USA is a very litigious society. The trauma from a child’s death could easily convince a parent that I am somehow to blame and to take legal action. I’m not a lawyer but under Nevada law, as far as I can tell, the HO can be held responsible, even if the pool is in perfect working order and adequate warnings are given. Also, my pool has a diving board which increases the risk of accidents. The legal aspect I could probably get around by having all sorts of liability waivers that the sitter has to sign.

I hate to ban a whole group of sitters, as I’ve had good sitters in the past who had young children. But, the more I think about this, the more I realize that I would be constantly worrying about the risk. And I would hate to start a sit by giving a whole lot of legal papers to sign. That kinda does not feel ‘right’ to me.

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France is becoming a country where many people go to court. As the owner of the pool I’m responsible.

There were cases of trials where children had gone to a private property without permission (jumping over a gate) and a kid around 10 drowned in the pool

The pool had no fence. The alarm was off. Nobody was there (and a strong wind can make the alarm siren to burst) and the owners were sued by the parents as the alarm might have been switched on…
. You can loose your home having to pay a lot of money for a child’s death

I don’t feel comfortable with young kids at home with a pool. Many applicants can “fit” a sit. I don’t feel obliged to accept kids if it makes me anxious.

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I wouldn’t see it as discriminating against any particular group. The same applies to all other things. Modern architecture like floating staircases without railings, exclusive furnishings, expensive carpets, mabey your unique pets or whatever excludes a specific group. If you specify that your house is not childproof, not suitable for wheelchair users, that a sitter must speak a specific language and have certain skills and experience, it is perfectly fine. You know your house, you know and decide who fits in there and who not, and that’s ok. As I always say, honest communication is the key.

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I have a large pond that is dangerous to unsupervised children. So I would not accept sitters with children. This is not for legal reasons. But for my own peace of mind. It only takes a few seconds for a child to drown in water.

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