When it Comes to Pools, Don’t be a Paranoid Fool: Safeguards for Safety

Here are three rules to live by when you’re worried about kids and pools. The angst has to stop!

New parents are paranoid about safety more often than not, especially first-time parents. This is not a bad thing, given your primary job as a parent is to ensure the survival of your children.

The thought of kids swimming in pools sends new parents into a frenzy of concern about safety. Yes, it comes with risks, but as I’ve written prior, if you start educating children about safety hazards as soon as they can walk, they learn.

We have a pool ourselves in the backyard and we’re strict when it comes to enforcing rules. But, for every restriction we have, we’ve had our fair share of scares. One child jumped straight up on the diving board and her back nearly banged on the back if it when she descended. Another parent brought two kids, three and five, but her spouse wasn’t present so she had to manage one wrangler in the shallow end while the other swam off to the deep end.

When one parent let their kid swim unattended, he went down and another father dove in to pull him up from below the waterline. Then the parents accused us, the hosts, of not keeping an eye on their kids. Needless to say, these assholes were not invited back for chicken kabobs and they will never swim in our pool again.

The three rules to live by when you are poolside with your kids, all of which apply to children under the age of six:

  • One child in the water / one parent: You and/or your guests are responsible for the life of your child in the pool, period. Two kids require two parents to be present in the pool with them.
  • Fool me once, shame on you / fool me twice, shame on me: Once a pool rule is spoken, it remains forever. Break it again and the child needs to be is removed from the pool for a time out. A third time, they are out of the water for the rest of the afternoon.
  • One sober host: When the kids are in the pool, one host can drink to his/her delight, the other should not. The sober one enforces all rules and keeps an eye on things.

Regarding the last rule, if you’re cooking or serving food, get everyone out of the water and keep them out when people are eating. This enables the sober parent to throw back a few beers or glasses of rose’. Why keep the pool open indefinitely? Alternatively, if you’re the guest, after a late afternoon/evening meal, swim time is over. Post pool/dinner time is reserved for parents. They can play amongst themselves so parents can give themselves a break.

The first half of a pool outing is for the kids, the other half is for the parents.

If you like this article, check out the following:

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When the Opportunity Arises, Shift the Blame to a ‘Circumstance’

One thought on “When it Comes to Pools, Don’t be a Paranoid Fool: Safeguards for Safety

Add yours

  1. I can’t recommend enough hiring a local lifeguard for parties where a pool will be open. It’s not paranoia- it’s just good sense. Honestly, even with good rules and mostly attentive
    parents, it only take a moment. Near drowning events can be quite catastrophic (where a kid aspirated pool water but doesn’t necessarily lose consciousness). That can show up with respiratory failure hours later, when you don’t expect it. Just saying, pool paranoia is fairly well justified.


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