You may be considering a pool party for your child’s next party. While you want your pool party to be fun, you also need it to be safe. It’s important to prepare adequately, and that begins with knowing how to have a safe and fun kids pool party. Combine a bit of common sense and a few simple steps to ensure everybody is safe
If you are having a pool party for your child, it is your responsibility to enable the safety of all attendees. You can make it easier on yourself by ensuring that you already know the foundations of keeping your pool safe for kids – this includes making sure that your pool fencing and gate are compliant with safety regulations.
As with any kind of water safety, supervision is key to keeping children safe around your pool. Before the day of the pool party comes around, follow these steps so you have a good understanding of the children attending the party and how to keep them safe:
- Speak to the parents of children attending to understand their child’s swimming ability and whether or not they are a strong swimmer with experience in the water.
- Request that the parent stays in attendance at the party to help supervise their child if possible.
- Set up a rotating roster of 15-20 minute intervals for supervision. Allocate adults to supervise undistracted during their interval before handing the responsibility to the next adult.
Another approach is to hire a lifeguard for the day. A lifeguard is a professional trained in water safety, and they know how to identify when somebody is in distress or drowning.
Hiring a lifeguard is the preferred option, especially if you do not have enough adults to supervise the pool party.
Outline the rules of engagement
Create clear guidelines and boundaries for the children to follow before they can get into the water. Rules may include:
- Weaker swimmers cannot enter the deep end of the pool even if they have a floatation device such as a pool noodle or kickboard.
- No running around the pool area. No exceptions.
- Children must walk around the pool area.
- Children must tell an adult if somebody is doing something dangerous in the pool or the surrounding space.
No food or drink in the pool.
Top tips for a fun and safe pool party
- Never assume that kids are safe around the pool, even if they have flotation devices such as armbands or rings. Floatation devices can slip off among the excitement of the party.
- Check for hazards around your pool area before the party starts. Survey the site and look for sharp edges, slippery surfaces or any potential risks.
- Be prepared to get in the water if a toddler or small child falls into deep water.
- You should keep safety equipment nearby. Ensure that there is a CPR chart within the pool area in case of an emergency. During a panic, it is easy to forget how to perform CPR, and having a chart nearby to guide you can make a difference.
- Prepare games and activities for the children to help keep the pool party fun yet orderly. It makes supervision much easier when the children are altogether involved in an activity.
- Hydration and being sun smart is critical during any time in the pool, and a children’s party is no exception. Set up a sun smart and hydration station that children can reapply sunscreen and have a drink of Freshwater. It is a good idea to schedule breaks for children to attend the sun smart and hydration station to ensure they stay on top of their sunscreen and water intake.
- Get yourself trained in First Aid, or at least CPR. The training will need to be booked and completed well in advance, and it is a skill that could serve you well.
What to do if your child is attending a pool party
If the pool party is at another person’s house, you may feel limited in what you can do to keep your child safe. You can take many precautions, and you should never feel embarrassed or silly for ensuring your child’s safety.
Call ahead and speak with the parents about their plan for safety at the pool party. Some things that you can ask:
- What kind of supervision will be provided? Will there be a lifeguard, or will adults be supervising the children in the water?
- What rules and boundaries will be set for the children to know how to behave around the water?
- Will there be any consideration given toward each child and their swimming ability?
- Are any of the adults first aid trained, or do they know how to perform CPR effectively on a child?
- Will adults be drinking alcohol at the party, and what precautions will be taken to ensure they do not get in the pool with the children?
- Is your pool registered, and have you received an up-to-date safety compliance certificate for your fence and gate?
Equally as important as the points above, ensure your pool fence is compliant. When you are adhering to legislation requirements, you ensure that the foundations of safety are already in place before the party date comes around. Read more about what you need to know for pool fencing safety.