POOL PARTIES

Pool parties are for children who know how to swim.  Do not invite or allow children who cannot swim.  If everyone you want to invite cannot swim, plan something else.  If your child does not know how to swim - and swim well - do not allow him/her to attend a pool party.  (Pool party attendance privilege is a great incentive to learn how to swim.)

My recommendation is that you only have pool parties at commercial facilities. I do not recommend that anyone take on the responsibility and liability of hosting a pool party at home. Pool parties should be guarded by one or more certified lifeguards.  A lifeguard has been trained to respond in the event of an emergency.

Additional parent supervisors and watchers are a great addition, but do not take the place of lifeguards.  If you do host a pool party at your home, make sure that you have rescue equipment and first aid supplies ready for use.  If you attend a pool party, check first for lifeguards and rescue equipment.

A good job for a parent volunteer is to watch the empty pool during the designated rest - bathroom - food/cake - presents portions of the party to make sure no one reenters the pool unsupervised.

Everyone will have the most fun when children's pool parties are restricted to invited guests. Younger siblings and tag-a-long neighbors and friends increase the risk and may diminish the fun for the guest of honor.


more pool party tips

All of the other things that we have covered so far apply to pool parties. Often at backyard pool parties doors are propped open breaching the layers of protection.  Swimmers may be allowed to drift from the pool to the house or patio area for food and games. There is not a SWIM TIME and a PLAY TIME and an OPENING GIFTS TIME. Plan ahead so you don't make these mistakes.

  • Host the party at a commercial facility with certified lifeguards; and supplement the lifeguards with adult supervisors

  • Keep the group small. Six to ten is best for parties where there is a guest of honor, up to twenty for a group party. Larger group outings to swim (ie class party) should be considered a public swim event. Follow guidelines for allowing your child to swim at public facilities. Supervision Page

  • Invite only those who can swim. Typically, the guests who have the most fun are the ones who can also stand up in the facility you are using. Check the water depth. If someone you want to invite can't swim, choose another venue so everyone can enjoy the party safely.

Do not allow the fact that some commercial facilities allow non-swimmers to be "tagged" (wear a colored band) and/or "floated" (use lifejackets) and allowed to participate in a pool party to sway you to allow non-swimmers at your party. YOU are responsible for keeping your children and your friends and family safe.  Make good choices on their behalf.

A different way to "tag" swimmers is to use my GWIBS bands to connect a swimmer  to an adult. Set it up so that each swimmer and the adult in charge of that swimmer wear matching wrist bands. One adult should be responsible for no more than three skilled swimmers at the party.

  • Swim during designated swim times, and take frequent rest breaks.

  • It's not only ok, it is critical that you not only check in advance to see if guests can swim, but have them take a swim test when they arrive so you know what you are dealing with. Non-swimmers must not be allowed to enter the water during a pool party. A pool party is not the place to learn how to swim.

  • Exercise extreme caution with floats and rafts. Even when everyone knows how to swim, you must have enough lifeguards/supervisors stationed to see all the way around floats and rafts.

  • Keep the party short. One hour is plenty for swim time. Accidents happen when children are tired.

  • Save alcohol for another party at a different venue.


TEACH THE KIDS

Pool Parties are great...for swimmers, that is.
But you have to give all of your friends a short quiz.

Can you swim independently?  That means all alone.
With no jackets, no swimmies, no floaties, no rings?
It's not safe to depend on any of those things.

A pool party is not for learning to float.
Pool parties are for those who float like a boat!

It's not right.  It's not fun.  It's not safe.  It's not smart
to allow your non-swimming friends to take part.

If having a pool party will leave some friends out,
go bowling instead so all guests can shout:

"Hip, hip, hooray!  I'm so glad that my friend
cares for my safety and wants ME to attend!"

Watch the video to see some children taking the 15' pool party skills test.

PROTECT YOUR GUESTS

Below is sample wording for a pool party invitation insert. Notify your guests in advance of your swim test requirements. Do not let non-swimmers into the pool at your pool party.

 

We care about the safety of our guest and want to provide a safe environment for our celebration. All guests ages twelve and younger will be required to pass a five-yard swim test in water over their heads before being allowed to play in the water during the party.

Pool parties are great...for swimmers, that is.
But we have to give all of our friends a short quiz.

Can you swim independently?  That means all alone.
With no jackets, no swimmies, no floaties, no rings?
It's not safe to depend on any of those things.

A pool party is not for learning to float.
Pool parties are for those who float like a boat!

It's not right.  It's not fun.  It's not safe.  It's not smart
to allow our non-swimming friends to take part.

Swim 15’ all on your own or stay high and dry,
NOT in the pool, but safely nearby.

 

 

 

REAL LIFE

From the article: "So many people keep on saying the pool was packed the pool was packed but if the pool was packed how did my baby drown? How? How?"

*****Knowing the Keys to Drowning Prevention is required to get a certificate. Please write these down.*****


TEST YOURSELF

Do not invite or allow children who cannot swim to a pool party.  If everyone you want to invite cannot swim, plan something else.  If your child does not know how to swim - and swim well - do not allow him/her to attend a pool party. 

1.  Pool Parties are for children who _____________  _______  _____  __________.

2.  Parent supervisors and water watchers do not take the place of _____________________ _____________________.

Review the course materials if you have trouble answering these questions. Continue only when you are confident that you understand the material