DEAR ABBY: I am a divorced mother with a 3 1/2-year-old son who visits his father on weekends. My son is taking swimming lessons, but as of now does not know how to swim. Six months ago, his father moved to a house with an unfenced swimming pool. My ex has promised for months to put up a fence; it hasn't happened. I've even offered to pay for it.
Also, my sister takes care of my son once in a while. She lives in a home with a swimming pool that is fenced -- but she keeps the gate open! Her reason is that her two girls, ages 4 and 5, know how to swim.
I worry that my ex or my sister won't properly supervise my son, and he will fall unnoticed into their swimming pools. Have I a right to be concerned or am I overreacting? -- CONCERNED MOM IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR CONCERNED MOM: You describe an accident waiting to happen. Your ex and sister are ignorant about the safety of your child, so it is up to you to see that he is kept out of harm's way.
Do not allow him to visit either of them until you are confident he can swim. Even then, insist that your ex have the pool fenced, and your sister keep the gate closed and locked when your son is visiting -- unless an adult is present at the pool. Until your son is older and more sure of himself, make certain he wears an inflated safety jacket whenever he is around any swimming pool, so he will be able to keep his head above water should he fall in.