You may be viewing this page because someone cares about your safety, and put this link on your pool party invitation.
Pool parties are great...for swimmers, that is.
But you have to give all of your friends a short quiz.
Can you swim independently? That means all alone.
With no jackets, no swimmies, no floaties, no rings?
It's not safe to depend on any of those things.
A pool party is not for learning to float.
Pool parties are for those who float like a boat!
It's not right. It's not fun. It's not safe. It's not smart
to allow your non-swimming friends to take part.
If having a pool party will leave some friends out,
go bowling instead so all guests can shout:
"Hip, hip, hooray! I'm go glad that my friend
cares for my safety and wants ME to attend!"
Pool Party Safety Tips from the online course, Water Safety Education for Parents & Caregivers
Pool parties are for children who know how to swim...period. Do not invite or allow children who cannot swim. If everyone you want to invite cannot swim, plan something else. If your child is not a skilled swimmer do not allow him/her to attend a pool party. (It's a great incentive to learn how to swim.)
Pool parties should be guarded by one or more certified lifeguards. Additional parent supervisors and watchers are a great idea, but do not take the place of lifeguards. If you host a pool party, make sure that you have rescue equipment and first aid supplies ready for use. If you attend a pool party, check first for lifeguards and rescue equipment.
A good job for a parent volunteer is to watch the pool during the designated rest - bathroom - cake - presents portions of the party to make sure no one reenters the pool unsupervised.
My recommendation is that you only have pool parties at commercial facilities. I do not recommend that anyone take on the responsibility and liability of hosting a pool party at home - no matter how much fun you may think your child will have.
Everyone will have the most fun when children's pool parties are restricted to invited guests. Younger siblings and tag-along neighbors and friends increase the risk and diminish the fun for the guest of honor.
Usually at backyard pool parties doors are propped open breaching the layers of protection put in place to safeguard swimmers. Often swimmers are allowed to drift from the pool to the house or patio area for food and games.
It is important to designate SWIM TIME, EAT TIME, and a PLAY TIME and an OPENING GIFTS TIME.
- Host the party at a commercial facility with certified lifeguards.
- Supplement the lifeguards with adult supervisor/watchers. Use the Face-Up First GWIBS bands to band together and adult "guardian" with a child "ward." They're free!
- Keep the group small - six to ten is best for parties where there is a guest of honor, up to twenty for a group party.
- Invite only those who can swim...and usually the guests who have the most fun are the ones who can also stand up in the facility you are using. Check the water depth. If someone you want to invite can't swim, choose another venue so everyone can enjoy the party safely.
- Do not allow the fact that some commercial facilities inexplicably and unforgivably allow non-swimmers to be "tagged" (wear a colored band) and/or "floated" (use life jackets) and allowed to participate in a pool party to sway you to allow non-swimmers at your party. YOU are responsible for keeping your children and your friends and family safe. Make good choices on their behalf.
- Swim during designated swim times. Have frequent rest breaks.
It's not only ok, it is critical that you not only check in advance to see if guests can swim, but have them take a swim test when they arrive so you know what you are dealing with. Click to see the invitation insert we provide to people hosting parties at our facilities: SwimTestNotice.pdf. Non-swimmers must not be allowed to enter the water during a pool party. A pool party is not the place to learn how to swim.
- Exercise extreme caution with floats and rafts. Even when everyone knows how to swim, you must have enough lifeguards stationed to see all the way around floats and rafts.
- Keep the party short. One hour is plenty for swim time. Accidents happen when children are tired.
Be safe. Finish with the same number of kids you started with!