This is the time of year when Southern California moms start thinking about planning those pool parties for their kids especially for spring break which will be here sooner than you realize. This is not the time to be complacent but the time to plan every angle of the party.
A pool party for the kids is an awesome idea however when planning a party, always put the safety of kids and guests above all. There are a few things that can be done to minimize injury or worse at a pool party. The following are things to consider:
- Hire a pool party lifeguard
Having a dedicated pool party lifeguard on the deck is one of the best layers of protection one can utilize to prevent injury or drowning. This is one investment that you will thank yourself for in light of the many stories of drownings at pool parties in the media. Having a lifeguard on the deck means you will always have a dedicated set of eyes on the kids the entire time with no distractions.
We know how difficult it can be to host a party and to watch the pool at the same time. It is basically impossible.
Keep in mind that not all lifeguards are created equal … https://www.goldenstatelifeguards.com/a-tragic-story-know-who-you-hire/
- Limit the number of large flotation devices in the pool
Too often we see an overabundance of large pool floatation devices such as those extra large swans for example for the kids to play on however these devices can lead to tragic drownings. The issue here is that the large flotation devices create blind spots in the pool and will not allow the lifeguard or water watcher to have eyes on every part of the pool. We have seen kids get caught under those things resulting in panic forcing us to jump in and to pull them to safety.
At moist, we would recommend pool noodles or small flotation devices allowing good views of the pool from the deck.
- Do not rely solely on puddle jumpers
Although Puddle Jumpers are usually safe under direct supervision, they have been cause to drownings. Too many moms are dependent on them as a means to ensure a drowning does not happen however with repetitive wear the kids develop an unhealthy reliance on them.
The problem is that when kids exit the pool and the Puddle Jumper is removed (lunch or bathroom break), the kids may return to the pool subconsciously thinking the flotation device is on which leads to a tragic incident such as a drowning. We have seen kids race back to the pool thinking it was on and prevented a tragedy.
This is why we advocate for swim lessons that will of course prevent this situation from occurring.
- Parents need to enforce pool safety rules
Even though a lifeguard may be on the deck, it is up to parents to help the lifeguard enforce pool safety rules. Yes, this has to be said because too often many parents see pool party lifeguards as babysitters and we are not working as such. We have made it clear to many moms that we are not their kids’ babysitters to which we might get attitude or “The Look”. You moms know about that one! We are there to make sure that the kids are safe at all times and that means the kids will get called out for running or rough horseplay on the deck. Many young lifeguards will simply look the other way since they do not want to “piss off” the moms. An experienced lifeguard will know what is appropriate and for the particular age group working with.
- Always be honest with the lifeguard regarding child’s swim ability
When you arrive at a pool party that is being watched by a lifeguard, don’t be afraid to talk to the lifeguard and let them know about your child’s swimming ability. This information will help the lifeguard to divide the kids up mentally.
Our lifeguards always ask incoming parents about their swimming ability. More often than not we will get the life story of the child and we love that!
There have been many times that some moms have been very deceitful and unwilling to be honest with us because they don’t want to be embarrassed in front of the other moms at the party. This has led to some frustration on our part due to their dishonesty and their attempt to impress others at the pool party.
- Always outfit kids with bright bathing suits
To make the job easier for the lifeguard or water watcher, always outfit the kids with bright bathing suits or shorts. Dark colors such as blue can make it difficult to scan below the surface of the water as some colors blend with the pool.
These are just a few items to think about when putting a pool party together or if you plan on taking your child to a pool party. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be glad to answer your questions.