6 Pool Safety Tips For a Kid's Day at the Pool

By Alicia Geigel on June 28, 2023

The warm, summer days are quickly approaching, which means the kids will be out of school and at home for a few months. Between work and other obligations, it can be difficult to find activities to fill up your children’s free time, especially if you’re looking for a babysitter. There is unfortunately only so much your kids and your potential babysitter can do inside, and activities in the backyard can become boring and repetitive after a while. Going to a community pool is a great way to give your kids a change of scenery and help them cool off in the summer heat.

Pool days and poolside activities can be so much fun, but it is also important to remember to practice poolside safety to avoid accidents and injury. If you’re a parent looking for some advice regarding a babysitter taking your kids to the pool, keep reading!

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1. Communicate What You’re Comfortable With: A pool day should be a fun time for the kids, the babysitter, and yourself. Even if you aren’t present at the pool with your kids, your emotions and feelings matter as well, and you should be just as involved and comfortable as if you were there in person. Before your kids even get their swimsuits out and prepare for the pool, have a conversation with your babysitter and communicate exactly what you’re comfortable with while they will be at the pool. Discuss the depth of the water you’re comfortable with them going into, whether they can dive or do jumps, etc. Clarifying these rules can help clear up any confusion or vagueness for your babysitter.

2. Go Over Pool Safety Rules: In terms of pool safety, there are a few universal rules that all babysitters, guardians, and parents should follow. Firstly, supervision is of the utmost importance, and while it may be obvious, all it takes is a small distraction for an accident to happen. A blog post by Sitter City notes, “Sitters and parents should avoid potential distractions, like texting or reading, while at the pool. Drowning can happen fast — in under two minutes — and actively supervising children will ensure that you’re able to react quickly should something go wrong.” Additionally, convey to the sitter that the kids should not run around or push anyone into the pool.

3. Provide the Necessary Pool Equipment: “Equipment” is a strong word, but in a setting where there is water and a lot of children playing in a pool, things can sometimes get out of hand. If your child is new to swimming, is young, or isn’t fully comfortable in the water, a life jacket is a great option that allows them to enjoy the water without having to worry about a drowning accident. Floaties are also another common item that parents use when children go to the pool, but they aren’t as safe as life jackets. When using floaties, be sure your babysitter has their eyes on your child, or better yet, in the pool with them.

4. Stress Outdoor/Sun Safety Too: Pool safety is of the utmost importance when children play around any type of pool, but practicing outdoor and sun safety is just as important. When your children are in the sun for any period of time, sunscreen is a must. Matthew Taylor of Kid Sit writes, “You should be aware that it ideally needs to be applied 30 minutes before heading outside, and then reapplied frequently as they continue swimming. Read the instructions on the label of your particular sunscreen and be vigilant about reapplying as often as recommended.” While you’re at it, bug spray can also be helpful to have on hand!

5. Don’t Forget About Hydration and Food: When kids are playing in the pool and doing a lot of activity, they’re likely to garner a huge appetite and be thirsty. The summer heat combined with the prolonged movement is a recipe for becoming dehydrated, so be sure to stock up on water, electrolyte drinks like Gatorade or Pedialyte, or juice to have in a cooler when they need it. Also, help your babysitter prep a bag of snacks and lunches for when the kids get hungry. Sandwiches, fruit popsicles, chips, trail mix, etc. are certified favorites among kids, but include what you want your kids to have based on any allergies or preferences.

6. Be Available for Questions or Concerns: After your babysitter is equipped with the proper rules, food, and safety equipment, the last thing you can do is be available at all times for your babysitter to contact you with any questions, updates, or concerns. Whether it be through a phone call, Facetime, or text, keep in touch with the babysitter throughout the day to ensure everything is going well and everyone is having a nice day.

Pool safety can be stressful, especially with the presence of little ones. If you have a clear set of rules and necessary items to give to your babysitter, however, a trip to the pool should be fun and problem-free!

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