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From the Lifeguard’s Perspective: Pool Safety for Your Kids This Summer

Every shift, lifeguards scan the pool to make sure it is the safest environment for all its patrons. We do the best we can in order to keep everyone safe and having a good time. In order to do this effectively, we need everyone to participate and comply with their pool’s rules. Many pools share similar rules and have them posted by the entrance. If you’re unsure what the rules are, ask a lifeguard, and they will help you. Many pools have a set of rules for age restrictions and parent responsibilities. This summer, know how competent your child is at swimming, and know where in the pool your child should be.


On the deck:


Do not allow your kids to run on the pool deck. This is dangerous for several reasons, but it is also one of the most commonly ignored rules. One of the most important reasons is because if they run and slip, they could hurt themselves, namely their heads. This could cause serious injury, which is easily avoidable by not running. If your kids are running or being reckless around the pool deck, they could slip and fall into the water, they could run into an unnoticed obstruction, or they could cut themselves on sharp objects on the deck: glass, cans, insects, etc.


In the water:


No horseplay or standing on shoulders. Similar to running on the pool deck, it is one of the harder rules to enforce, but would prevent a lot of injuries if followed. Lifeguards understand that you want to have fun with your kids – we were all kids once too! – but it makes our job difficult when, for example, a father has both of his kids on his shoulders and he refuses to stop horsing around. Maybe one of his kids falls on another child, and someone gets hurt. We all want to have fun, but it is important to also keep other patrons’ safety in mind when playing around.


Do not allow your kids to dive in the shallow end. It is extremely dangerous because it is an easy way for them to hit their heads, which could cause them to develop a concussion or even to pass out underwater. Diving is allowed only in regulated areas. Many pools require younger kids to show that they can dive without hurting themselves, so ask your lifeguard what their rules on diving are if they have a diving well.


All children under 15 years of age should be accompanied by a parent or guardian. They are not allowed to swim alone and must have two adults (18 years of age or older) present when swimming.


Floaties aren’t sufficient for all non-swimmers. If your infant or toddler doesn’t know how to swim and is wearing floaties, do not assume they can stay above water alone. Always keep your eyes on them; even better, keep your arms on or around them to keep their head above water.


In the restrooms:


Thoroughly wash hands after using the restrooms or changing diapers, and shower before swimming to prevent contamination to all patrons. If your children are infant or toddler age and are not potty-trained, they must wear a swim diaper. It will keep them safe and clean along with the pool and other patrons. Disposable diapers are not allowed in the pool, so please invest in swim diapers for your kids.


For infants and toddlers, it is suggested to take your children to the restroom every 30 minutes for a bathroom check and a diaper change for younger ones. This is also a good opportunity for you to check your child for fatigue, sun exposure, and dehydration. But for the safety and cleanliness of all, please change your child’s diaper only in the restroom.


For all ages: please do not enter the pool if you have been sick in the past 14 days. It will keep everyone safe, healthy, and happy.

It is a general rule of thumb for parents to have initial supervision over their children. We rely on parents to be looking over their children, especially in crowded pool facilities. We understand that you can get distracted, but at the end of the day, your child is your responsibility. We will always be doing our best to ensure everyone’s safety. If you have any questions, always ask your lifeguard, and they will help you or direct you to someone who can help you. We are here to make sure everyone is having a fun but safe summer pool experience.

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