A DOPEY mum sparked panic when she left her two young children unsupervised at a busy swimming pool – so she could go SHOPPING.
Other parents became concerned when they spotted a three-year-old boy and his five-year-old sister “looking lost” by the poolside.
They alerted leisure staff, who launched a search for the missing mum.
After checking the toilets, changing rooms and café, she was nowhere to be seen.
Then, after being AWOL for half an hour, the sheepish mum returned to the pool and told staff she had been on a shopping trip.
One parent who got caught up in the drama told the Paisley Daily Express: “I had taken my own kids along for a swimming lesson but I noticed a wee boy and a girl who were standing on their own and looking lost.
“I asked them where their mum had gone and, although the wee boy was a bit young to understand, the little girl told me she thought she was away to the toilet.
“After waiting a little longer with no sign of the mum, the staff were also starting to ask questions about where the woman had disappeared to.
“They searched the toilets, the changing facilities and around the café area but couldn’t find her. It was clear that no-one, including the children, had any idea where she was.”
The woman, who lives in Barrhead, added: “I started to feel worried because I thought something had happened to her.
“Then, half an hour later, she appeared and told staff she had been away to do some shopping.”
The worrying incident took place at Barrhead Sports Centre at around 3.30pm, shortly before a swimming lesson for youngsters was due to start at the pool.
One mum who contacted the Express said: “It’s unbelievable that anyone would think it is acceptable to leave children of that age all on their own, never mind at the side of a swimming pool.
“When she came back, the leisure centre staff weren’t slow in telling her about the panic she had caused. They also made it clear that it was unacceptable to leave young kids unattended. She said she didn’t think it would have been a problem but promised not to do it again.”
Last night, a spokesman for East Renfrewshire Council confirmed staff at the pool had decided they could deal with the matter by issuing the mum with a warning.
He added: “A parent did leave her children unattended at the sports centre on Tuesday afternoon but our staff spotted the situation. After trying unsuccessfully to locate the parent or guardian, they kept an eye on the children until the mother returned.
“Upon her return, a supervisor explained that no children under the age of eight should be left unattended and we received reassurances that this would not be repeated.”