As summer approaches and the warmer weather beckons back out into the sun, we will eventually find ourselves drawn to the refreshing, splashy fun and relaxation of our favorite swimming pool – whether it be in your own back yard or a neighborhood swim club.
And as the pools beckon us back into the water with their glistening blue ripples, many of us recognize such an oasis as the perfect spot for a party. Pool parties are a summertime staple, but all too often, the hosts and hostesses of these swimming soiree’s may find themselves too caught up in the hustle and bustle of the party itself to enjoy with their guests.
One of the best things you can do if you’re planning a pool party is to hire a lifeguard. If you’re thinking of throwing a pool party, even at your own home, you may have already made this decision, and it is absolutely the best one you can make. A private lifeguard will give you peace of mind and relieve you of the safety concerns you’d otherwise have if you were tasked with watching everyone in the water.
Your lifeguard will stand watch and ensure the safety of your guests in and around the pool, and he or she will be equipped with life-saving first aid and CPR training. Professional lifeguards are well trained in handling a variety of emergency situations and have many tricks up their sleeves for resolving issues that may arise. An experienced private lifeguard will also offer additional assistance including making sure the pool area is clean and tidy, organizing and facilitating pool games for the kids, sharing swimming and diving tips and providing pool toys.
A good lifeguard can certainly be the hero of your pool party, but there are a few helpful things you can do to further ensure that your event goes swimmingly. Here are some of our tips that we’ve gathered from veteran professional lifeguards who have spent many summers working pool parties and full time at community pools, water parks and beaches:
1) Make sure the younger guests at your party understand your rules for the pool (no running, no diving, etc.) and that the lifeguard may put them in “time out” for breaking them
2) Ensure your pool is well maintained, free of any cracks or unsafe surfaces and has the proper chemical balances.
3) Take some time to walk around the pool and check for hazards such as uneven pavement, nails sticking out of wooden decks, broken glass, wasp nests, etc.
4) Think about where your lifeguard’s “post” will be. Make sure there is some shade available, a chair, a clean towel and some cold drinking water.
5) Remind parents ahead of time that they are still responsible for their children and that, while lifeguards may instruct children on following rules, they won’t tolerate unsafe behavior.
6) For long parties (4 hours of pool time or more), give the guard a break! Lifeguards have no problem enduring the heat, sun and sweat for hours on end, but what most people don’t realize is that break time for a lifeguard is primarily for resting his or her eyes. A quick dip in the pool to cool off is also a nice relief, but the strain of watching people in a pool with a beaming sun reflecting off the surface can quickly deplete the guard’s ability to remain vigilant.
Clay Adams is a professional lifeguard and acquatics blogger for E-Lifeguard On Duty