Compensation Culture Kills off the Great Family Swimming Trip; ONE-TO-ONE RULES MEAN SOME POOLS WON'T LET A PARENT TAKE TWO CHILDREN ANY MORE

The Evening Standard (London, England), January 26, 2005 | Go to article overview

Compensation Culture Kills off the Great Family Swimming Trip; ONE-TO-ONE RULES MEAN SOME POOLS WON'T LET A PARENT TAKE TWO CHILDREN ANY MORE


Byline: LECH MINTOWT-CZYZ

FAMILIES are being turned away from their local swimming pools because councils fear they could be landed with massive compensation claims, it has emerged.

Campaigners say "haphazard" safety rules mean that parents and children are being banned from some pools but allowed into others with no apparent consistency.

Some councils insist that young children are supervised on a one-to-one basis, so one adult cannot take two children swimming. Others allow an adult in with up to three youngsters.

Carolyn Warner, chairman of the pressure group Right To Swim, said: "Nobody knows what the rules are from one pool to the next.

The risk to children in public pools is tiny, yet the fear of compensation claims has driven councils to adopt these regulations.

"Around two children a year die in accidents in public pools and for the last five years none of them has been under four years old. Public pools are the safest bodies of water in Britain.

We live in a country full of rivers, streams and lakes. The worst thing we could possibly do is restrict children's ability to learn how to cope with water in a relatively safe environment."

A survey of the 33 London boroughs shows: . …

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