Lakefront property with small children?

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dimideme
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Lakefront property with small children?

Post by dimideme » Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:16 am

Hi folks, I'm about to return to my home state after six years spent working abroad for my company. I've been looking forward to settling down and buying a house for quite a while, and now that I've started browsing what's available in my desired area (via Zillow), I'm pleasantly surprised to find quite a few nice lakefront homes that are within my price range. It's not an absolute requirement that I live on a lake, but it's a perk I'd be willing to pay for.

Some relatives have mentioned that this might present the risk of drowning for young children left to play in the yard. I am still single at the moment, but I hope to start a family in this house sometime in the next few years, so this is a serious concern for me. Does anyone else live in a lakefront/seaside home with small children, and have any insight?

Thanks

nordsteve
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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by nordsteve » Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:23 am

I live in MN, land of 10000 lakes. I grew up a little kid on a lakefront.

1. Young kids must be supervised near water. You also might want to look for a house with a fenced area for small kids to play in.
2. From a young age, kids should go to swimming lessons. Swimming lessons start here at 6 months old ;>) It's not overstating it to say that the children in every family in my friend group take swimming lessons.
3. Growing up on a lake was a great experience.

Most drownings in MN seem to be adult drownings, with drinking, lack of swimming experience, and cold water being the primary reasons.

S

flyingbison
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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by flyingbison » Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:25 am

I don't have lakefront property, but it seems to me you should be just as concerned about a house that has a road in front of it, since traffic is a danger for children, as well.

jebmke
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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by jebmke » Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:34 am

Our local paper reported today that a 2 year old drowned in a swimming pool. They didn't say if the pool had a fence but I know for sure that many people do not fence their pools.

The suggestions above are good ones.
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target2030
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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by target2030 » Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:36 am

Flyingbison

A house with a road in the front is typically not avoidable but a lake is.

barnaclebob
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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by barnaclebob » Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:50 am

I would think the risk of drowning in a lake is less than in a pool if you can put a gate on the dock and the lake doesn't get deep very quickly. I don't have kids yet but the risk of drowning wouldn't keep me from buying a lake house. The rule at my uncles lake house was life jackets on when in the water.

flyingbison
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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by flyingbison » Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:53 am

target2030 wrote:Flyingbison

A house with a road in the front is typically not avoidable but a lake is.
My point was that there are many potential dangers for kids (and adults). It's much better to teach them how to navigate the world safely, than to try to keep them from encountering dangers.

user5027
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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by user5027 » Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:54 am

stevep001 wrote: 2. From a young age, kids should go to swimming lessons. Swimming lessons start here at 6 months old ;>) It's not overstating it to say that the children in every family in my friend group take swimming lessons.
+1

We raised two children and live on a river (across the street). Our neighbor's had a pool at the time (since filled it in) and the local municipality required no fencing.

My wife took the infants to "water babies" at the YMCA and when they were in grade school I took them to Saturday swim lessons at a nearby retirement home with an indoor pool.

LeeMKE
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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by LeeMKE » Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:55 am

+1 Steve001

I was raised in Michigan, with many of us living lakeside. Children are all given swimming lessons from an early age as our safety net for accidental falls into the water. I was surprised when I moved away that swimming lessons were optional in other states, but makes sense.

When the time comes, you'll do some additional child-proofing. Living on a lake blesses children.
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dimideme
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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by dimideme » Tue Sep 30, 2014 11:07 am

Thanks for the insight - I think you're right that there should be not much more danger than with an inground pool or traffic on a road. Raising the kids well and taking appropriate precautions (including starting swimming lessons from a young age) should be plenty. Thanks!

Boats day
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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by Boats day » Tue Sep 30, 2014 11:14 am

Very good advice posted here so far.

I grew up in mn. And have owned 3 lake properties. Raised kids and now grand kids never had a problem but we are vigilant about parental supervision.

I agree with previous posts.. adult supervision being Most important.

We have a life jacket rule we enforce with all visiting small children. If you are on or near dock u must wear a life jacket.

I love living on the lake and if that's what u want go for it.

Calm Man
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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by Calm Man » Tue Sep 30, 2014 11:15 am

Young children drowning in a lake or an in-ground pool or an above-ground pool relatively rarely. It is a non-trivial risk. I cannot imagine the devastation of a person having actually considered this and having it happen to his/her own children. Now, let's go with the fact that a well-trained, well supervised child will not drown (I'm dubious). What about visitors to the family house.

No way would I ever do this.

randomguy
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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by randomguy » Tue Sep 30, 2014 11:30 am

flyingbison wrote:
target2030 wrote:Flyingbison

A house with a road in the front is typically not avoidable but a lake is.
My point was that there are many potential dangers for kids (and adults). It's much better to teach them how to navigate the world safely, than to try to keep them from encountering dangers.



They are not mutual exclusive. It can make a lot of sense to avoid avoidable risks until the kid is old enough to fend for themselves. For example you might choose to live on a cul de sac where the traffic goes 15mph versus a busy road where it is going 55mph. You can teach kids what do to but to expect a 1-5 year old to make good choices is poor parenting.

That being said this is one of those minimal risks things that is pretty hard to avoid in life.

davebo
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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by davebo » Tue Sep 30, 2014 11:42 am

I have 3 small kids and wouldn't do it. I guess I just don't see the upside outweighing the downside though. But to each their own.

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dbCooperAir
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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by dbCooperAir » Tue Sep 30, 2014 11:47 am

stevep001 wrote:I live in MN, land of 10000 lakes. I grew up a little kid on a lakefront.

1. Young kids must be supervised near water. You also might want to look for a house with a fenced area for small kids to play in.
2. From a young age, kids should go to swimming lessons. Swimming lessons start here at 6 months old ;>) It's not overstating it to say that the children in every family in my friend group take swimming lessons.
3. Growing up on a lake was a great experience.

Most drownings in MN seem to be adult drownings, with drinking, lack of swimming experience, and cold water being the primary reasons.

S

Live in and grew up in MN as well, spending lots of time on the water.

To be honest having young kids and living on the water is just one more thing to worry about. We had the same thoughts of buying a lake place and decided to buy a little place with a few acres. Its not just your kids you have to worry about its all the kids friends as well. For us we live adjacent to a number of lakes so if we want to boat/fish/ski its not a big deal to trailer the boat to the lake. I feel we made the right decision, having a few acres to play on with the kids has been great.

I do know that kids are fast and don't always listen no matter how many times you tell them something, that was my kids at a young age anyway. Everyone should learn to respect the water and learning to swim is one aspect.

We see a fair amount of kids fall thru the thin ice, being a good swimmer gives you an edge but its not very much of an edge. I put a snowmobile thru the ice when I was young, it was an experience I can't describe, and yeah I knew more about thin ice and snowmobiles then my parents, I'm lucky to be here today! We lived on a creek that dumped into a lake.

Two side notes:
1) I see us getting a lake home/cabin in the future when we really have the time to enjoy it.
2) I see most lake home Owners don't do much on the lake after a few years, heck most to even have a boat.
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Crow Hunter
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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by Crow Hunter » Tue Sep 30, 2014 12:08 pm

My neighbor has an eight year old and a 3 year old. My neighbor across the lake has 3 kids (I don't remember their ages but none over 8). I grew up on a farm and around farms with stock ponds.

As odd as this sounds there is a difference between a pool and a lake. Kids will be attracted to a pool because of the clean water and bright colors and they probably take baths/play in pools.

Lakes/rivers are full of snakes and frogs and dirty water where monsters live. :wink: Kids are less likely to go and play without parents being around until they get up much older.

My neighbors and I, supervise and keep an eye out for kids down by the lake but I wouldn't let that keep me from having a beautiful house on a lake if that is what I wanted.

However, after living on a 5 acre or so lake for the last 7 years and having to mow around it and keeping muskrats shot out of it, I won't be living around a lake in the future. :annoyed

flyingbison
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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by flyingbison » Tue Sep 30, 2014 12:15 pm

randomguy wrote: It can make a lot of sense to avoid avoidable risks until the kid is old enough to fend for themselves. For example you might choose to live on a cul de sac where the traffic goes 15mph versus a busy road where it is going 55mph. You can teach kids what do to but to expect a 1-5 year old to make good choices is poor parenting.
No one suggested letting a 1-5 year old roam free around a lake, unsupervised, and expect them to make good choices. That's just absurd.
Last edited by flyingbison on Tue Sep 30, 2014 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sciencenerd
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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by sciencenerd » Tue Sep 30, 2014 12:47 pm

From what I remember living in Miami a decade ago, drowning was the number one cause of death of young boys. Of course, every other house has a pool there. Many of the drownings did actually occur during parties, when parent's thought that "somebody" would watch the kid, when in fact everyone was just busy socializing. I have been in similar situations with my own kids when we had visitors and all of a sudden the question arises: Where are the kids? Of course then each parent says to the other: "But I thought YOU were watching them. Luckily, we don't have water or a busy road nearby.

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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by Ged » Tue Sep 30, 2014 12:53 pm

I would worry about my house getting flooded by the lake as well as the issue of supervising the children.

epilnk
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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by epilnk » Tue Sep 30, 2014 12:56 pm

Fences can be installed and removed. If and when you have children, fence in a portion of the back yard around the house, with an inaccessible gate latch leading to the lake.

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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by epilnk » Tue Sep 30, 2014 1:00 pm

flyingbison wrote:
randomguy wrote: It can make a lot of sense to avoid avoidable risks until the kid is old enough to fend for themselves. For example you might choose to live on a cul de sac where the traffic goes 15mph versus a busy road where it is going 55mph. You can teach kids what do to but to expect a 1-5 year old to make good choices is poor parenting.
No one suggesting letting a 1-5 year old roam free around a lake, unsupervised, and expect them to make good choices. That's just absurd.
We did, starting around age 3 but one neighborhood 2 year old was allowed to accompany his older brothers into the "woods" (clump of trees) that screened the lake from view. We called that the '60s. Nobody died, I'm not sure why.

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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by livesoft » Tue Sep 30, 2014 1:02 pm

We lived on the shoreline with the back patio about 30 feet from saltwater. There was no fence. In some storms, water came up to the back door. We didn't have any problems with our toddler and neither did any of the neighbors with their young children (newborn to age 5). I guess the thought never crossed my mind that a child would be out by themselves. One of our greatest videos is my then 2-year-old standing in about 1 foot of water with a couple dozen horseshoe crabs scurrying around in the water at her feet.

We currently live between two non-fenced ponds. Lots of kids play around these ponds. I would not mind lakefront property with small children.

I read in newspapers a few times a year about swimming pool accidents and gun accidents. I have never read about a lake or shore accident with a toddler. I have read about lake accidents with 6 to 30 year-olds usually a dock, diving, or fast boating is involved.
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Jozxyqk
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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by Jozxyqk » Tue Sep 30, 2014 1:15 pm

epilnk wrote:
flyingbison wrote:
randomguy wrote: It can make a lot of sense to avoid avoidable risks until the kid is old enough to fend for themselves. For example you might choose to live on a cul de sac where the traffic goes 15mph versus a busy road where it is going 55mph. You can teach kids what do to but to expect a 1-5 year old to make good choices is poor parenting.
No one suggesting letting a 1-5 year old roam free around a lake, unsupervised, and expect them to make good choices. That's just absurd.
We did, starting around age 3 but one neighborhood 2 year old was allowed to accompany his older brothers into the "woods" (clump of trees) that screened the lake from view. We called that the '60s. Nobody died, I'm not sure why.
Actually, lots of kids died. http://www.nber.org/digest/dec99/glied.html ("Between 1960 and 1990 the death rate for children aged five to 14 fell 48 percent ... a growing share of the accelerating reduction in child mortality arises from a sharp drop in deaths from unintentional injury or accident."). Since 1990, the rate of kids drowning has continued to drop like a rock. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/c ... 1.full.pdf ("From 1993 to 2008, the estimated annual incidence rate of pediatric hospitalizations associated with drowning declined 49% from 4.7 to 2.4 per 100 000").

ETA: To clarify, I don't think owning a home on a lake is a bad idea. I think it's an excellent idea. Kids will have a great time and learn to swim. The risk of drowning is super small -- the mental and physical benefits of a lifetime of enjoyment from being absolutely comfortable in the water are huge. And as an added bonus, we've gotten a ton better at keeping kids safe since the 1960s!

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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by bstewartny » Tue Sep 30, 2014 2:14 pm

Some lakes are more dangerous than others - is the shoreline gradual or steep? Is it possible to "fall into" the lake from the shore line? I grew up with a vacation lake house, and it was awesome. It did have a large "beach" area and very shallow/gradual shoreline so it was (relatively) safe to play there. I also was forced to learn swimming at an early age due to uncles throwing into the water off the dock :oops:

We had a large deck off the house that was always full of adults so I think we were pretty well supervised when playing near the water. in our case the water was maybe 100ft from the house without any trees, etc. blocking the view.

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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by randomguy » Tue Sep 30, 2014 2:21 pm

livesoft wrote:We lived on the shoreline with the back patio about 30 feet from saltwater. There was no fence. In some storms, water came up to the back door. We didn't have any problems with our toddler and neither did any of the neighbors with their young children (newborn to age 5). I guess the thought never crossed my mind that a child would be out by themselves. One of our greatest videos is my then 2-year-old standing in about 1 foot of water with a couple dozen horseshoe crabs scurrying around in the water at her feet.

We currently live between two non-fenced ponds. Lots of kids play around these ponds. I would not mind lakefront property with small children.

I read in newspapers a few times a year about swimming pool accidents and gun accidents. I have never read about a lake or shore accident with a toddler. I have read about lake accidents with 6 to 30 year-olds usually a dock, diving, or fast boating is involved.
http://boston.cbslocal.com/2012/05/31/t ... ster-lake/
http://www.kcra.com/news/local-news/new ... y/27165536
http://wane.com/2014/09/23/police-on-sc ... en-county/
http://www.wbtw.com/story/23958354/sc-t ... ns-in-pond
http://mynews13.com/content/news/cfnews ... lando.html
http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/2- ... 12881.html

And you can go on forever. Yes you might not think your kid will ever be out of your sight. Odds are you are wrong. The good news is that even if you live on a lake, have a pool, and so on, the risks of your kid drowning are still very low.

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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by Tyrobi » Tue Sep 30, 2014 2:36 pm

There’s always a risk for us with small child when we moved to our current home with a lake on the back.

To reduce the risk, (1) we have a screen lanai over our patio with lock doors and (2) we enroll the child to swimming lessons.
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stan1
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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by stan1 » Tue Sep 30, 2014 2:49 pm

Some points to ponder first:
- Since you are single do you really want to care for a large house/yard?
- Your future spouse may not want to live on a lake.
- If there are a lot of lakefront houses listed but not selling they might be over-priced or there could be an environmental problem with the lake. Make sure you really understand the market.

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dbCooperAir
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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by dbCooperAir » Tue Sep 30, 2014 3:09 pm

stan1 wrote:Some points to ponder first:
- Since you are single do you really want to care for a large house/yard?
- Your future spouse may not want to live on a lake.
- If there are a lot of lakefront houses listed but not selling they might be over-priced or there could be an environmental problem with the lake. Make sure you really understand the market.
I can say around this neck of the woods we have a ton of lake homes for sale, most of them are second homes and or cabins. With the recent economy many are dumping the second home and I think the trend is moving to renting a lake place for a week or two every year rather then dealing with lakeshore Ownership. For families with kids in activities owning a lake cabin would be tough and not used that often, at least that's my take on it.

Its an interesting cycle, we had a good number of resorts, those sold off in the late 80's-90's and now today resorts are making a comeback.
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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by denovo » Tue Sep 30, 2014 3:09 pm

flyingbison wrote:
target2030 wrote:Flyingbison

A house with a road in the front is typically not avoidable but a lake is.
My point was that there are many potential dangers for kids (and adults). It's much better to teach them how to navigate the world safely, than to try to keep them from encountering dangers.
+1
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rooms222
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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by rooms222 » Tue Sep 30, 2014 4:54 pm

U.P. of Michigan here. Besides lessons, teach and follow the adages "Nobody swims alone" & "Only swim when an adult is present."

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TxAg
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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by TxAg » Tue Sep 30, 2014 5:49 pm

Have a small child. Will have more in the future. I'd rather have a ranch, but I wouldn't mind some lakefront property. :sharebeer

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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Sep 30, 2014 6:10 pm

So I am going to ask a few questions.

You say you're single. Are you involved with someone who has kids? You don't have to answer, obviously, but my first thoughts were.....are you buying a mini van because someday you'll meet a girl and get married and have kids?

If I were single, uninvolved and coming back to the US with enough money to buy lakefront, I would probably buy a house that suited me rather than some future life I might, maybe someday have.
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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by barnaclebob » Tue Sep 30, 2014 6:12 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:So I am going to ask a few questions.

You say you're single. Are you involved with someone who has kids? You don't have to answer, obviously, but my first thoughts were.....are you buying a mini van because someday you'll meet a girl and get married and have kids?

If I were single, uninvolved and coming back to the US with enough money to buy lakefront, I would probably buy a house that suited me rather than some future life I might, maybe someday have.
I'd say a lakefront property would suit a single guy pretty well, especially with a big boat docked out front...

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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by tibbitts » Tue Sep 30, 2014 6:44 pm

"Lakefront" is a very generic term. Some properties have more potentially dangerous characteristics than others, and dangerous characteristics can be mitigated to varying degrees.

Overall I'm surprised at the number of replies saying that they'd avoid seemingly any type of lakefront property for safety reasons.

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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by denovo » Tue Sep 30, 2014 6:45 pm

randomguy wrote:
flyingbison wrote:
target2030 wrote:Flyingbison

A house with a road in the front is typically not avoidable but a lake is.
My point was that there are many potential dangers for kids (and adults). It's much better to teach them how to navigate the world safely, than to try to keep them from encountering dangers.



They are not mutual exclusive. It can make a lot of sense to avoid avoidable risks until the kid is old enough to fend for themselves. For example you might choose to live on a cul de sac where the traffic goes 15mph versus a busy road where it is going 55mph. You can teach kids what do to but to expect a 1-5 year old to make good choices is poor parenting.

That being said this is one of those minimal risks things that is pretty hard to avoid in life.
How far can we take this? Taking your children to school involves the risk of them getting hurt while on the way to school in the car, at school from other kids, and also they can catch illnesses from those "other kids".

You can reduce all those risks by homeschooling.
Last edited by denovo on Tue Sep 30, 2014 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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randomguy
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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by randomguy » Tue Sep 30, 2014 7:24 pm

denovo wrote:
randomguy wrote:
flyingbison wrote:
target2030 wrote:Flyingbison

A house with a road in the front is typically not avoidable but a lake is.
My point was that there are many potential dangers for kids (and adults). It's much better to teach them how to navigate the world safely, than to try to keep them from encountering dangers.



They are not mutual exclusive. It can make a lot of sense to avoid avoidable risks until the kid is old enough to fend for themselves. For example you might choose to live on a cul de sac where the traffic goes 15mph versus a busy road where it is going 55mph. You can teach kids what do to but to expect a 1-5 year old to make good choices is poor parenting.

That being said this is one of those minimal risks things that is pretty hard to avoid in life.
How far can we take this? Taking your children involves the risk of them getting hurt while on the way to school in the car, at school from other kids, and also they can catch illnesses from those "other kids".

You can reduce all those risks by homeschooling.
Homeschooling is incredibly dangerous. After all more kids are murdered by their parents than anyone else. How far do you go the other way? Do you leave a loaded gun laying around the house and trust that since you have told your 4 year old not to touch that things are good? Personally I would put my faith in the gun safe.

As I said the lake house falls into the minimal risk category for me. Your personal values might differ.

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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by TRC » Tue Sep 30, 2014 7:37 pm

I grew up on a lake and believe I had one of the best childhoods a kid could have. Swimming, fishing, turtle an frog hunting, my own small boat, wake boarding as I grew older. It was the best. If you can afford it, you won't regret it.

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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by mhalley » Wed Oct 01, 2014 1:49 am

Don't forget the horrible diseases that can be spread by mosquitoes! As they say on The Game of Thrones, The NIght is Dark and Full of Terrors.
Mike

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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by dbCooperAir » Wed Oct 01, 2014 7:47 am

barnaclebob wrote: I'd say a lakefront property would suit a single guy pretty well, especially with a big boat docked out front...
The happiest day of his life and we all know what the second most happiest day of his life will be :wink:
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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by sls239 » Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:02 am

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is a back door alarm.

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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by dimideme » Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:22 am

dbCooperAir wrote:
barnaclebob wrote: I'd say a lakefront property would suit a single guy pretty well, especially with a big boat docked out front...
The happiest day of his life and we all know what the second most happiest day of his life will be :wink:
Hahaha... I get that reference! :sharebeer

Maybe I should clarify that I'm moving to New Jersey, so to all of you Minnesotans and UPers, what I call a lake you might call a pond or a puddle :) I doubt there'd be much room for anything but a rowboat or small sailboat, but I'm not much of a boater - the appeal to me would be to sit and read on the dock, and maybe swimming in the summer.

Thanks again for all the comments. To those who have mentioned that I might be jumping the gun here, it's a valid point - I'll also be looking at smaller houses closer to the city, this is just a thought I was entertaining. Cheers

deikel
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Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:13 pm

Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by deikel » Wed Oct 01, 2014 1:57 pm

a) swimming lessons for small children (say 3-7yrs) does not have the goal of them being able to survive in water, its a question of not to panick and get comfortable in the water, but also learn respect it dangers and show safe behaviour....below 4 I would say supervision is a must anyway.

Even adults who can swin drown in water because the temperature sucks energy out of you in little time (plus clothes will make you feel like a sack of potatoes)

b) if you have kids and water, than get a dog as well - best insurance you can have (well, if you get one that likes water and has protective instincts for the kids anyway)

c) beyond supervision age (5 and up), its entirely possible to educate children what to do and not to do close to the water

d) it depends what access to the water you have on th eproperty. If it is a gradual sandy beach - little danger. If you have a cliff with a potential fall into water - high danger - the classicla issue is a dock - it provides a 'fall into water hazard', has no rail and should be off limits for little kids - of course jumping in is part of the fun for the older ones....

IMO, no reason not to buy the property - never heard that to be damaging your property value (whereas some buyers do have issues with pools)
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deikel
Posts: 559
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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by deikel » Wed Oct 01, 2014 2:05 pm

You can teach kids what do to but to expect a 1-5 year old to make good choices is poor parenting.

I would actually argue the other way round: Its quite easy to make sure that your 1-5 year old actually does what you asked for, since they still have the desire to follow your rules and respect the danger when you tell them about it - its the 5-25 yrs where they start thinking they have it figured out and are missing some details ....or maybe that aspect never ends so put th eupper limit at 95
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6miths
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Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by 6miths » Wed Oct 01, 2014 2:30 pm

Much good advice. A few comments. Having a primary residence with a pool and a cottage with a lakeshore, I am much more fearful of the pool. The straight drop into water at least 4 feet deep with no easy means of egress is potentially deadly while the lake has a sloping bottom where entry is gradual and getting one's head out of the water is much easier, even for a non-swimmer. Swimming lessons are a great idea, learning to swim is even better. If floatation devices are used for small children, they should be approved jackets that will get the face out of the water and not floaties and rings that seem designed for disaster. Learning to have a healthy respect for water is also invaluable. A dog is also a great idea. We've always had 'herding' type dogs who have loved the water and always seemed to be on guard when anyone was near the water. The nature of the lakeshore is also important as mentioned. Gentle entry is nice. Not having 6 foot waves periodically sweeping up the shore is also a bonus. Growing up on the shore and having our children grow up on the shore has been a wonderful experience. Well worth the small risk we thought.
'It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so!' Mark Twain

randomguy
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Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:00 am

Re: Lakefront property with small children?

Post by randomguy » Wed Oct 01, 2014 4:06 pm

deikel wrote:You can teach kids what do to but to expect a 1-5 year old to make good choices is poor parenting.

I would actually argue the other way round: Its quite easy to make sure that your 1-5 year old actually does what you asked for, since they still have the desire to follow your rules and respect the danger when you tell them about it - its the 5-25 yrs where they start thinking they have it figured out and are missing some details ....or maybe that aspect never ends so put th eupper limit at 95
I can assure that I have never met a single 3 year old that remotely understood the concept of danger.:) They are far more likely to be scared of a safe thing than that dangerous one. Seriously you can tell a 3 year old not to play in the street, wander off, play with a gun, and so on but your odds of them doing what you expect is about 50/50 at best. And saying that 25 years olds are just as stupid (in different ways) isn't really much of a justification.

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