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View Full Version : Dangerous Noodles??!!



mermaid
March 21st, 2007, 11:06 AM
Recently, my home YMCA has decided to band the use of Noodles during family/open swim times. They cite the floating foam (which can be used as a reaching assist, be used as an instructional aid, fun "thingy", etc. if used properly) as a "safety hazard". Not only is the ban news to me, so is the "hazard" label. Our pool always has at least 2 lifeguards (for a 6 lane, 25 yd pool) during the open swim times and requires that parents/guardians remain in the immediate area - if not in the pool - with their children.

I think my aquatics department has been hijacked by two non-swimmers who are too busy making up crimes to focus on real issues such as inceased times/lanes for competitive swimmers, monitoring pool temps & chemicals, etc.

My questions are:
How many other facilities have banned such fun floating objects?
What types/kinds of accidents have you experienced with the Noodle?
Do you think they have a basis for their decision?

ps. The facility stocks and uses the banned items during swim lessons and exercise classes.

Leonard Jansen
March 21st, 2007, 11:11 AM
Didn't they tell you that you could shoot your eye out with one of those things? Oh, wait... that's a Red Ryder BB gun that does that....

Although it's annoying to bump into one when you are swimming laps, it's a bit hard to see them as a danger. I mean, they are soft, have no sharp edges, can't drag you to the bottom, and WON'T shoot your eye out.

-LBJ

aquageek
March 21st, 2007, 11:21 AM
I'm happy to see the anti-noodlers fighting back, it's about time.

In all honesty, I'd much rather see the banning of non-toilet trained kids in pools. The epidemic of poo accidents is really annoying and frustrating these days. Back when we were kids, if you were in a diaper, you weren't allowed in the main pool, only the kiddie pool.

Kevin in MD
March 21st, 2007, 12:15 PM
Were kids whacking each other with them?


Recently, my home YMCA has decided to band the use of Noodles during family/open swim times. They cite the floating foam (which can be used as a reaching assist, be used as an instructional aid, fun "thingy", etc. if used properly) as a "safety hazard". Not only is the ban news to me, so is the "hazard" label. Our pool always has at least 2 lifeguards (for a 6 lane, 25 yd pool) during the open swim times and requires that parents/guardians remain in the immediate area - if not in the pool - with their children.

I think my aquatics department has been hijacked by two non-swimmers who are too busy making up crimes to focus on real issues such as inceased times/lanes for competitive swimmers, monitoring pool temps & chemicals, etc.

My questions are:
How many other facilities have banned such fun floating objects?
What types/kinds of accidents have you experienced with the Noodle?
Do you think they have a basis for their decision?

ps. The facility stocks and uses the banned items during swim lessons and exercise classes.

poolraat
March 21st, 2007, 12:27 PM
This sounds like my pool, right down to size, #of lifeguards, rules, etc.
During open swim no (absolutely none) floating aid of any kind is allowed as well as any kind of water toy or anything else you might take to a pool to have fun (fun? what's that?).


Recently, my home YMCA has decided to band the use of Noodles during family/open swim times. They cite the floating foam (which can be used as a reaching assist, be used as an instructional aid, fun "thingy", etc. if used properly) as a "safety hazard". Not only is the ban news to me, so is the "hazard" label. Our pool always has at least 2 lifeguards (for a 6 lane, 25 yd pool) during the open swim times and requires that parents/guardians remain in the immediate area - if not in the pool - with their children.

I think my aquatics department has been hijacked by two non-swimmers who are too busy making up crimes to focus on real issues such as inceased times/lanes for competitive swimmers, monitoring pool temps & chemicals, etc.

My questions are:
How many other facilities have banned such fun floating objects?
What types/kinds of accidents have you experienced with the Noodle?
Do you think they have a basis for their decision?

ps. The facility stocks and uses the banned items during swim lessons and exercise classes.

knelson
March 21st, 2007, 12:42 PM
I assume the problem is kids who can't really swim using the noodles as a flotation device which obviously isn't what they are intended for.

SwimStud
March 21st, 2007, 12:45 PM
I assume the problem is kids who can't really swim using the noodles as a flotation device which obviously isn't what they are intended for.

They use the noodles very much so as a learning aid/flotation device at our Y. I think because they let the kids "sink" a bit so they get a feel for swimming.
I agree with it not being OK to leave you kid on one of those unattended.
I also believe nodbody should swim unattended...anyone can have a mishap or black out...

scyfreestyler
March 21st, 2007, 12:53 PM
Were kids whacking each other with them?

Hey, I hear you on that one. The pool I swim at has no such devices but the pool/tennis club we hang out at during summer months has them all over the place. Invariably, the bigger kids will attempt to show how strong they are by slapping these things into the water and trying to cut the pool in half. I dread the day another youngster gets in the way of one of these things, especially if it's one of my own.

I should add that the lifeguards are usually pretty good about stopping this activity when the pool is crowded but as you all know, accidents do happen regardless of how careful you might be.

SwimStud
March 21st, 2007, 12:58 PM
Hey, I hear you on that one. The pool I swim at has no such devices but the pool/tennis club we hang out at during summer months has them all over the place. Invariably, the bigger kids will attempt to show how strong they are by slapping these things into the water and trying to cut the pool in half. I dread the day another youngster gets in the way of one of these things, especially if it's one of my own.

I should add that the lifeguards are usually pretty good about stopping this activity when the pool is crowded but as you all know, accidents do happen regardless of how careful you might be.

They make excellent trumpets and "lung powered" water cannons though

knelson
March 21st, 2007, 12:58 PM
I also believe nodbody should swim unattended...anyone can have a mishap or black out...

I disagree with this. Yeah, something could happen but the possibility is remote. It's a calculated risk just like everything else. Swimming alone isn't exactly like trying to summit Everest solo, after all :)

SwimStud
March 21st, 2007, 01:03 PM
Swimming alone isn't exactly like trying to summit Everest solo, after all :)

I just mean if it's unavoidable...just better to have apair of eyes on you...not someone in the water.

scyfreestyler
March 21st, 2007, 01:23 PM
Unattended swimming is no longer allowed at our training pool/Hartnell College.

Due to this tragic event a few years back... http://www.wisconsinswimming.org/safety.html

Even under a watchful eye things can happen, but it's best to give yourself every advantage possible.

Slowswim
March 21st, 2007, 01:43 PM
Unattended swimming is no longer allowed at our training pool/Hartnell College.

Due to this tragic event a few years back... http://www.wisconsinswimming.org/safety.html

Even under a watchful eye things can happen, but it's best to give yourself every advantage possible.

The same logic was used to mandate life guards at my last pool. The outcome was reduced hours for lap swimming and breaking your workout so the lifeguard can take a break. The lifeguards are usually asleep or watching TV. No one says anything because if they fired him there would be no swimming.

As an adult, I can make a risk assessment on my ability to swim in a 3 1/2 foot deep pool.

scyfreestyler
March 21st, 2007, 01:52 PM
The same logic was used to mandate life guards at my last pool. The outcome was reduced hours for lap swimming and breaking your workout so the lifeguard can take a break. The lifeguards are usually asleep or watching TV. No one says anything because if they fired him there would be no swimming.

As an adult, I can make a risk assessment on my ability to swim in a 3 1/2 foot deep pool.


We don't have lifeguards per se, but a coach must be on site when anybody is in the water.

You can certainly make a risk assesment for yourself, but the facility must make their own with consideration of liability in the event of an injury or fatality.

SwimStud
March 21st, 2007, 02:10 PM
As an adult, I can make a risk assessment on my ability to swim in a 3 1/2 foot deep pool.

While I fully undestand your point Bill, the mandating of lifeguards was not directed at just you, but for all swimmers too. Including the terminally stupid and wreckless among us who will do stupid and wreckless things, which lead to there or other's deminse. This then leads to the liablility issue.

This sort of liablily dodging has become neccessary, at least at indoor facilities, which try to promote a safe environment, and is frustrating for me too, when the pool is shut mid-workout because there is thunder...20 miles away.

I never understood why there needs to be a life guard on a beach but that's just me. I don't see how anyone is responsible for the ocean. It's water, it has waves, it get's rough.
Swim at your own risk; Parent's watch your own kids.
Then the ultimate baffler: blowing the whistle to get everyone out of the surf until you've packed up and then everyone can go back in.
Just blow the whistle and wave bye-bye.

Slowswim
March 21st, 2007, 03:16 PM
We don't have lifeguards per se, but a coach must be on site when anybody is in the water.

You can certainly make a risk assesment for yourself, but the facility must make their own with consideration of liability in the event of an injury or fatality.

Understood. I guess this was a vent. My coach was a qualified lifeguard, but not good enough.

Whenever I race, I sign a liability waiver. Nope, they didn't want to hear that either.:frustrated:
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scyfreestyler
March 21st, 2007, 03:25 PM
Understood. I guess this was a vent. My coach was a qualified lifeguard, but not good enough.

Whenever I race, I sign a liability waiver. Nope, they didn't want to hear that either.:frustrated:
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I can understand where you are coming from. Unfortunately the society we live in is an absurdly litigious one and the protections people must provide themselves with take a certain amount of fun from day to day life.

The Fortress
March 21st, 2007, 03:30 PM
Whenever I race, I sign a liability waiver. Nope, they didn't want to hear that either.:frustrated:
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Waivers aren't worth the paper they're written on. ;)

Happily, our summer swim league pool bans non-potty trained kids from the main pool and restricts them to the kids' pools. However, we did have an incident last summer where a poo was discovered floating in the big kid pool. Shut down a swim meet. Poo is worse than noodles any day.

You guys are really big on lifeguard bashing ...:thhbbb:

SwimStud
March 21st, 2007, 03:36 PM
Waivers aren't worth the paper they're written on. ;)

Happily, our summer swim league pool bans non-potty trained kids from the main pool and restricts them to the kids' pools. However, we did have an incident last summer where a poo was discovered floating in the big kid pool. Shut down a swim meet. Poo is worse than noodles any day.

You guys are really big on lifeguard bashing ...:thhbbb:

Oh jeez, just scoop it out and play ball...

newmastersswimmer
March 21st, 2007, 03:42 PM
Oh jeez, just scoop it out and play ball...

What if its not really in ....well lets say "solid" form....and kind of partially dissolved lets say.....You still want to play ball in it then Rich??

Newmastersswimmer

scyfreestyler
March 21st, 2007, 03:45 PM
Waivers aren't worth the paper they're written on. ;)



I always hear that from attorneys but I have yet to hear a reason why.

Peter Cruise
March 21st, 2007, 03:50 PM
Waivers? Let's not go there.

SwimStud
March 21st, 2007, 04:07 PM
Waivers? Let's not go there.

Yes waving your noodle is always dangerous...especially if it's frozen, like the ones found in Canada!
:D

aquaFeisty
March 21st, 2007, 04:11 PM
Ok, I can see both sides of this. I would guess that the main area for concern is kids using the noodles to swim to water where they can't touch, slipping off the noodle and getting in trouble. Maybe some troublemakers were really slapping noodles at other people? Still, I'm not sure how much damage a foam noodle can cause.

At the same time, if there are 2 lifeguards for a 6 lane pool, that doesn't sound like that huge of an area to cover (for a guard). We used to have 1 lifeguard for a 6 lane, 25 yd pool with an L-attached diving well where I guarded and managed. Maybe your Y gets insanely busy during Family Swim??? Maybe the parents do a terrible job of watching their kids? I once had to jump in for a 5 year old who jumped off the side into 3 1/2 ft deep water because I couldn't get the attention of his mother jabbering away about 1 foot from where her sons head was under the water. Dumb dumb dumb.

Our summer 'pool' is a converted limestone quarry that gets pretty murky at times. Other than during Adult Float (no one under the age of 18 allowed inside the park, period) no floatie devices of any sort other than Coast Guard approved are allowed. Due to the murky water and the fact that on a busy there are probably over 200 people there, this rule makes a lot of sense... alot more sense than at a small, hopefully crystal clear Y-pool. (You also have to be able to swim ~110 yds freestyle to be allowed in the deep end if you haven't yet graduated from 8th grade.)

mermaid
March 21st, 2007, 04:11 PM
For clarification purposes, there were no kids wacking each other - my kids are 5, 6, & 7 (yes) - they were sharing the noodles & balls with the other kids, I am a coach, lifeguard, instructor, etc. and I was in the pool right next to the open swim area (swimming laps). I can see below, hear above, see above and was paying attention to my kids & all the other participants in the pool (occupational hazard that never goes away).

By the way, my kids can swim all 4 competitive strokes and I can get to any spot in the pool <:10

The Fortress
March 21st, 2007, 04:17 PM
I always hear that from attorneys but I have yet to hear a reason why.


I didn't hear it from my attorney. ;)

Peter:

We were joking. :thhbbb: :thhbbb:

mermaid
March 21st, 2007, 04:27 PM
please guys - I'm in the middle of a nasty divorce and I've had enough of attorneys and their sharkish nature - no more esquire talk - my blood pressure and anxiety attacks . . .

geochuck
March 21st, 2007, 04:28 PM
For clarification purposes, there were no kids wacking each other - my kids are 5, 6, & 7 (yes) - they were sharing the noodles & balls with the other kids, I am a coach, lifeguard, instructor, etc. and I was in the pool right next to the open swim area (swimming laps). I can see below, hear above, see above and was paying attention to my kids & all the other participants in the pool (occupational hazard that never goes away).

By the way, my kids can swim all 4 competitive strokes and I can get to any spot in the pool <:10

Your children are wonderfull, here at the pool at Laguna del Tule it is bedlum with the noodles. Kids slamming each other and even fist fights amongst the kids breakout. I saw 5 of them the other day and they were not fooling, trying to hurt each other and the parents watching and laughing.

SwimStud
March 21st, 2007, 04:33 PM
Your children are wonderfull, here at the pool at Laguna del Tule it is bedlum with the noodles. Kids slamming each other and even fist fights amongst the kids breakout. I saw 5 of them the other day and they were not fooling, trying to hurt each other and the parents watching and laughing.


...and then they sent for the water cannon...
:help:

Slowswim
March 21st, 2007, 05:00 PM
.

You guys are really big on lifeguard bashing ...:thhbbb:

I put myself through college (partly) by renting beach equipment on Clearwater Beach (FL). I only once saw a Tower Jockey get off her butt to go get someone in "trouble." The trouble swimmer came back just fine. A second life guard had to go get the first one.:applaud:
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The Fortress
March 21st, 2007, 05:09 PM
I put myself through college (partly) by renting beach equipment on Clearwater Beach (FL). I only once saw a Tower Jockey get off her butt to go get someone in "trouble." The trouble swimmer came back just fine. A second life guard had to go get the first one.:applaud: </IMG></IMG>

I was just joshing and being my now sharkish self, although I don't want to cause our new mermaid any more anxiety!! :) I guarded a lot when young and sometimes had trouble keeping the eyes open. On the other hand, I have seen them fish swimmers out of the ocean who wandered in too far and got caught in tides a couple times. Sometimes there's nothing they can do if swimmers choose to swim during red flag times though. Maybe Jesse can give us his opinion of ocean guarding.

SwimStud
March 21st, 2007, 05:12 PM
I was just joshing and being my now sharkish self, although I don't want to cause our new mermaid any more anxiety!! :) I guarded a lot when young and sometimes had trouble keeping the eyes open. On the other hand, I have seen them fish swimmers out of the ocean who wandered in too far and got caught in tides a couple times. Sometimes there's nothing they can do if swimmers choose to swim during red flag times though. Maybe Jesse can give us his opinion of ocean guarding.

I would be without dear Mrs Stud and subsequent little Studs if she'd not been rescued at Coney Island when she was a teen. Now why she decided to go into the ocean and not be able to swim I don't know. She still is not happy about water, and even got all squrimy watching The Perfect Storm and The Guardian.
So at least I know if I need to get away for a bit I can head to the pool ;)

newmastersswimmer
March 21st, 2007, 05:16 PM
Yes waving your noodle is always dangerous...especially if it's frozen, like the ones found in Canada!
:D


Are you going to sit back and take that kind of abuse now Peter?!...and from a Britboy at that LOL!


Newmastersswimmer

p.s. Rich I'm suprised your wife had time to squirm during the Guardian...I was too busy laughing my arse off at the cheesey script / acting to have any time for squirming LOL!

Slowswim
March 21st, 2007, 05:27 PM
I was just joshing and being my now sharkish self, although I don't want to cause our new mermaid any more anxiety!! :) I guarded a lot when young and sometimes had trouble keeping the eyes open. On the other hand, I have seen them fish swimmers out of the ocean who wandered in too far and got caught in tides a couple times. Sometimes there's nothing they can do if swimmers choose to swim during red flag times though. Maybe Jesse can give us his opinion of ocean guarding.


Fort:

I know, I'm goofin' too. But Clearwater Beach is like a pool missing a wall. Its dead calm and you'd have to swim 100m to get over your head. Next best thing to paradise!!! and its my home town!:groovy:
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Peter Cruise
March 21st, 2007, 06:56 PM
Bork- I don't want to zing Rich too much, he rapidly becomes morose and plays the poor, little Brit with a gamy knee card. "Please, Mr. Scrooge, I could do breastroke ever so much better if I could only have a support stocking..."

ensignada
March 21st, 2007, 07:01 PM
The pool I swam in when I was growing up had a no flotation policy (and had guards posted every 25yds or so, big pool).

I don't like floats for kids unless they've already shown they can swim. I've seen too many little kids, balancing on a noodle, fall off and not be able to get up to the surface. And many non-swimming parents don't see the danger.

The only save I've ever seen was of a 10 yr old girl who floated into the deep end of a hotel pool and fell off whatever she was floating on. Her parents were at the other end of the pool and didn't notice. No guard, except for my friend who was there on vacation and figured out she was drowning and did the save.

Call me a wet blanket. Floats are fun, but not when used for flotation.

Got Boost
March 21st, 2007, 07:15 PM
When I lifeguarded I did not let anyone who could not swim without a noodle, ring, or whatever in water deeper than they could stand in. I worked a public pool, 6 lane 50 meter,in the summer and a indoor comunity pool 6 lane 25 meter in the winter. I most of my saves are of little kids who have noodles etc in areas that are 5' - 6' deep, they think they can stand and can't then panic sets in. Having said that there is no reason to ban them just have the guards do their job and moniter how they are used.
Got Boost

notsofast
March 21st, 2007, 09:40 PM
My pool's open swim allows noodles and only noodles - no kickboards or any other floaties. The deep end (>4 feet) is sectioned off. They also force kids to pass a simple swim test before entering the deep end.
All seems to work out, except I wish they would ban just one word:
"MARCO . . . ."

mermaid
March 22nd, 2007, 08:02 AM
Thank you all for your valuable thoughts. I was hoping that I hadn't missed a newsflash about the perils of noodles - and it seems I haven't.

Rather, it seems that the aquatic madams have chased any and all fun right out of the pool for kids and turned the temp up to 85 degrees abandoning any and all who want a good workout (exercisers too). One could infer that they are now going to cater to a fanny dunking crowd. My guess is that the later crowd is much easier on the accident report?.

Soon, the cold, cold winter will end and the outdoor pools will open. Then our little group will be able to resume regular swimming. Unfortunately, the Y pool is the only game in town - without driving forever.

My filaments . . . my scales . . .

Muppet
March 22nd, 2007, 03:04 PM
All seems to work out, except I wish they would ban just one word:
"MARCO . . . ."

I worked at a pool that had a 25 page rulebook. It was quite rediculous, and we were forced to pick and choose the rules which we enforced. One in there was for "NO RYTHMIC YELLING." As was explained to me by the managers, who were explained to by the pool committee, that meant that Marco Polo was not allowed. I can agree the sound is annoying, but I also thought that rule was ludacris. :2cents:

Back to topic:
Same pool only allowed noodles during raft nights (sat evenings). Some kids used them correctly, some inappropriately. Plus, if you couldn't go in the deep end normally, you weren't allowed to on a raft either.

I thought that Raft nights were a great idea - it got the kids to the pool at a pool that was severely underused, but the busy nights were a nightmare to work. The kids would purposely flip the rafts upside down and then float/walk with their heads in the space created between the upside down boat's floor and the top of the water. We put the kabosh on that right away.

laineybug
March 23rd, 2007, 01:12 PM
Children who don't know how to swim should not be allowed to use noodles. Our life guards have to approve floatation devices for children before they can be used. In general, if the child has to hold to it to float, it isn't approved, only floatation devices that the child can not slip out of are approved.

Rafts can be very scarry too. About 15 or 16 years ago, a child snuck into the pool where I swim... unaccompained by an adult of course... the child could not swim, but got in an inflatable boat/raft type of toy. It turned over in the deep end (15 ft). The overturned boat/raft toy blocked the guard's view and he drowned.

No matter how many rules you make to protect people someone, sometimes a child who doesn't have to capasity to think ahead to the dangers yet, will break rules with dire consequences.