‘We’re not babysitters’: Lifesaver boss hits back at mum who complained about being refused entry to a pool because she had three kids under five with her
- Mother was refused entry into her local pool as she had three children with her
- Bridget Murphy took three children under five to Angelo Anestis Aquatic Centre
- She was refused entry as every child under six must be with by one adult each
The head of lifesavers in Australia has fired back after a mother-of-three complained about being refused entry to her local swimming pool with her young children.
Bridget Murphy wanted to take her three children, who are all under five, on a day out to the Angelo Anestis Aquatic Centre in Bexley, southern Sydney, on October 17.
However, she was left disappointed when they were refused entry due to the policy that every child under six years old must be accompanied by one adult each.
Mrs Murphy complained, saying she wouldn’t be able to take her children to the pool unless accompanied by her husband and another adult.
Royal Life Saving chief executive officer Justin Scarr has spoken out in support of the policy.
Bridget Murphy wanted to take her three children on a day out to the Angelo Anestis Aquatic Centre (stock image pictured) in Bexley, southern Sydney, on October 17
‘I can understand her disappointment…but the policy is to remind parents that life guards are not babysitters and swimming pools are not daycares,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
‘The guidelines are intended to ensure that the parents play an active role in supervision of their children in public pools.’
He said parents often would often leaves kids in the pool while they sat in the cafe or on their phones.
The Royal Life Saving Australia policy for public pools requires children aged between 0-5 stay within arm’s reach of an adult.
Mr Scarr highlighted the need for the policy as seven children have drowned in public swimming pools and another 170 have been hospitalised as a result of a near drowning in the past 10 years.
While Mrs Murphy agrees with the policy, she believes the management of the Bexley pool may have interpreted it differently to other locations.
Royal Life Saving chief executive officer Justin Scarr has spoken out in support of the policy
While Mrs Murphy agrees with the policy, she believes the management of the Bexley pool (pictured) may have interpreted it differently to other locations
‘I got to the desk and they said, ‘We can’t let you in because you have got three kids’,’ she told the St George and Sutherland Shire Leader.
‘The manager informed me that the policy means one adult is required for every child under six years in the pool,’ she said.
She said it was awkward having to take her children to the pool only to tell them they can’t actually go inside.
‘My kids have lost the chance to learn to swim in that pool,’ she said.
She was especially disheartened by the event as she had been a club captain at the Bexley Swimming Club and also worked at the pool for years.
She said there were no issues when she wanted to bring her children to the pool last year, and frequented it during the entire season.
The mother-of-three was told that the condition was a part of Royal Life Saving Australia’s ‘stay within arm’s policy (stock image)
While Mrs Murphy supports the advice to ‘stay in arms reach’ of children under five years old, she said the one adult to one child rule excludes families.
The young family now choose to go to Enfield pool where they have found it is friendlier for children and interpret the policy differently.
Angelo Anestis Aquatic Centre told Daily Mail Australia that the policy had previously been enforced without any issues.
‘This is a condition of the terms of entry applied at Bexley,’ a spokesman said.
‘We interpret the ‘within arms reach’ policy here differently based on the depths of the water.
‘The facility has been open for two-and-a-half years and the policy has been enforced ‘as best as possible without an issue at all’.’