As we are preparing for the Christmas festivities and holiday, we have taken to the web in search of stories relating to pool party drownings and to our surprise there is an overabundance of accounts that are truly heart breaking to say the least. There are many parents and families who will not be celebrating this Christmas in usual fashion due to a drowning of a child that was most likely preventable.
It is important for parents to understand that although a pool party is fun, it does not come without risks. We know that as we get closer to the New Year, many will be thinking about planning those spring and summer pool parties for their kids. Soon the weather will start getting warmer and swimming will be on the minds of many.
Year after year, story after story, account after account it is always the same. Drownings happen at pool parties because of a lack of supervision and due to the activities at pool parties making it difficult to keep track of every single child.
When planning a pool party, the last thing anyone thinks about is safety. There seems to be an attitude that the kids will be fine and will stay out of trouble. That is the first mistake that a parent can make and it is this mistake that has led to drownings at pool parties. This lackadaisical attitude towards safety at pool parties must be dealt with head on. This needs to change!
Most pool parties will have a wide range of kids of varying ages and of course swimming abilities. Some of the kids will be excellent swimmers while some may not know how to swim at all. Some parents will put “floaties” on their kids or “Puddle Jumpers” and let them roam around unsupervised. It is also very common to see adults enjoying their wine having conversation with others however it only takes minutes for a child to drown. During this time of leisure, a non-swimming child could slip by and end up in the pool with tragic consequences.
It is widely known that drownings at pool parties are preventable with the right supervision. We will always advocate for having a private lifeguard on the deck as a dedicated set of eyes trained to act. This is the best way to keep the kids safe. A citizen “water watcher” such as another parent or adult may not be able to see signs of drowning and some may not be able to jump in the pool to save someone without becoming distressed themselves. What if no one in attendance knows CPR? What then? Hiring a lifeguard for your pool party will be the best investment you can make in terms of safety. You should never compromise on the safety of your kids.
So if you are planning a pool party this spring/summer, please consider hiring a private lifeguard to ensure that the kids have a fun and safe time swimming.
Photo of Los Angeles County Fire Dept. transporting child after drowning