We may be in the thick of the holiday season as of this blog however before we all know it we will be in the midst of wedding season here in Southern California. This will be that time when many couples officially tie that knot for life, at least we hope anyway. The timing of this blog is actually perfect and is being written for those planning poolside ceremonies and receptions. If you are an event planning professional or just someone doing the “do-it-yourself” planning, this blog is definitely for you.
You may be asking yourself why would anyone have a lifeguard or a pool monitor at a wedding ceremony or reception? We are glad you may be asking that question! There are several reasons for having a lifeguard or pool monitor at any poolside event so please allow us to explain.
Although the media does not report on drownings at poolside events, we can certainly say they do happen and can potentially happen. If you are in fact planning a poolside ceremony or reception, please take note. You must take many things into consideration when planning that poolside event such as time of day. Will this be a night time reception? How will lighting be? How close to the pool will the ceremony or reception be? These are just a few points to consider.
As everyone knows, most weddings and receptions will have an abundance of children of all ages in attendance. It can be quite a task for any parent or guardian to keep track of the little ones. When children are at wedding receptions, we have seen parents allow the kids to play and wander around without monitoring them. We all remember as kids the joy and excitement of being able to roam free and play without our parents hounding us. Ok, so this is where things can get messy especially at poolside events. This is where the unthinkable could happen.
By nature kids are attracted to water especially swimming pools with toys or inflatables. Many event planners highlight the pools with decorations that are absolutely breathtaking and can capture the attention of kids. Kids are also captivated by the movement of the water (ripples) or even trying to catch bugs around the pool. It does not take much to impress a young child as they are quite impressionable.
SCENARIO – While the adults are enjoying the wedding reception, drinking and dancing there are numerous unsupervised children at play and near the swimming pool area. As the reception is winding down and with poor lighting due to the descending darkness, it is realized that there is one child unaccounted for. A search ensues which at some point it is discovered a child at the bottom of the pool. The child is pulled from the pool, 911 is activated and some guests begin administering CPR. Fire department paramedics and police arrive and they begin advanced lifesaving procedures. Upon arrival at the trauma center, doctors attempt to save the little life only to realize that nothing more can be done. The child is pronounced dead.
The above scenario was absolutely and totally preventable! Had there been a dedicated lifeguard or pool monitor, that child would have been alive to see another day. Did you know that drownings are the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 1 to 4 years of age?
Another consideration for having a lifeguard or pool monitor at poolside events is the fact that alcohol is usually made available to guests. We all must admit we may have witnessed others when they have had too much to drink and at times seen them do very foolish things. For example, we have all seen YouTube videos of guys jumping off buildings or patio covers into pools, guys missing the pool entirely and then the sound of crunching bones. Once you have heard that sound, it is not something you never want to hear again. Some have lost their lives due to foolish acts so it is imperative to have a lifeguard or pool monitor at poolside events.
You can’t simply hire just any lifeguard or pool monitor. We would definitely advise anyone considering this service to stay away from Craigslist freelance lifeguards or using friends. To do so means they may not have professional liability insurance, the experience or the maturity for the job. Many of these individuals may be very young and inexperienced. You need to identify a company that specializes in these type of events and better yet a company that offers lifeguard/EMT’s or lifeguard/paramedics. Yes, all lifeguards are not created equal!
We could go on and on to make the case for having a lifeguard or pool monitor present. The key message here is that safety should always be paramount when planning a poolside wedding ceremony and reception.
Do the right thing!!