Smart Pool Rules For Your Babysitter

By Ashley Paskill on June 21, 2022

If you are hiring a babysitter for the summer, it is likely that you will be including them in pool outings. As such, it is crucial that you are clear about what rules you expect them to follow and uphold while watching your kids, even if you are joining in the outing.

Child’s comfort level

Your child may be a great swimmer, or they may struggle in deeper water. Whatever the case may be, it is crucial that you let your sitter know what level they are at swimming so the child does not go into a pool they are not comfortable with, especially at a public pool. If you know your child is unable to swim in the deep water, make sure the sitter knows to not let them in the deeper pool.

CPR certified

Even though there are lifeguards on duty at the pool, you may still want your babysitter to be CPR certified to respond quickly to any situation that arises. This is especially true if they are swimming in a personal pool instead of a public pool. Having them know how to handle the situation can help speed up the rescue time if something were to happen in the water.

Water toys

Set rules for what kinds of toys your kids are allowed to play with in the pool. Even if your babysitter is in the pool with the child(ren), it can get boring after a while without toys. Make sure they are safe toys, such as pool noodles and balls. This can ensure that your kids have fun in the pool while staying out of trouble and staying safe. If you take the toys to a public pool, be sure that the sitter knows to account for the toys and have the kids be responsible for them. Also, be sure that the toys are appropriate for the public pool and follow any rules they may have.

Image: Juan Salamanca via


Let your babysitter know what level of engagement you expect of them when it comes to being in the pool. If your kids are fairly independent or have friends to play with at the public pool, you may opt to allow your babysitter to watch your kids from outside the pool. However, depending on the child and circumstances, you may decide that you would rather have the babysitter in the water with the child. These both require a different level of preparation, so be sure to be clear about what you want and expect.


Protecting your child’s skin while in the sun is very important to avoid health issues in the future, so having your babysitter apply sunscreen is essential. Research shows that sunscreen is completely effective for only two hours, so make it a rule that your sitter applies the sunscreen every two hours. The American Board of Dermatology recommends an SPF of 30, so be sure to provide that for the sitter.


Tell your sitter what time you think your kids would like to be at the pool. You know which hours your kids are more energized and when they start winding down for the day, and these times may dictate when they would have the most fun at the pool. Let your sitter know of these times, and what to do if the kids start getting tired earlier. It is safer to use the pool during daylight hours only since it is easier to see the kids to watch them.

If you will be present on the trip to the pool, be sure to set expectations for any free time the sitter may have. They may want to grab a snack from the snack bar, use the restroom, or swim a few laps on their own. Let the sitter know if this is built into their day or not.

Know how to swim

This may seem obvious, but not every babysitter will know how to swim themselves. Even if they are not expected to swim in the water with the kids, the sitter should know how to swim, at least at a basic level, in order to help the child if needed. If your sitter does not know how to swim, see if there are courses near you that will teach them, or teach them yourself.

No pets

Even if dogs and cats hang out near the pool with the family usually, it is best to keep them inside while your babysitter is watching the kids. The pets may become a distraction, especially if they fall in the water and need rescuing themselves. It is easier to account for everyone if the pets stay inside the house so they do not become an issue.

Having your sitter take your children to the pool is a great way for your kids to have some fun, but it is crucial to set rules for your babysitter so everyone stays safe in the process.

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