This time of year outside pool parties are a blast for kids and grownups alike. And while adults enjoy their pool time kids can live in the pool all day long. Here are some simple tips to make sure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable day.
Set groundrules. When kids get together it’s easy for them to forget the rules in the excitement of new faces and silliness. It’s up to you to remind them of the groundrules at the start of the day and reinforce them as needed. You want to have consequences too such as time out or time out of the pool. Some good groundrules include no running, no splashing or dunking each other and no pushing each other into the pool.
Have at least one adult on lifeguard duty at all times. This means someone at the side of the pool, undistracted, sober, with one job – to watch the children and ensure their safety. Parents can trade off on this job, or many teenagers work in the summer as trained lifeguards. You may want to see if you can hire one for your party so all of the parents can relax and have fun.
Watch the sun. Have plenty of water-resistant sunscreen. Read the directions carefully. Some sunscreen takes a certain amount of time before it is effective and all sunscreen only lasts a certain amount of time. Remember that some kids burn faster than others.
Watch their hydration. Are they drinking enough? You might want to schedule shade breaks with watermelon or popsicles or juice boxes to make sure they’re drinking plenty. And take a break to get them to eat too. Food can take second place to play with kids.
Watch for cranky. As the smaller kids start to get tired you will see more fights and fussing. It may be time to call an end to the play time for the tinier ones. Set up a quiet space with some DVDs and you may find yourself monitoring naptime.