A high-level of safety can be difficult to maintain when it comes to patron-hosted pool parties. That’s why pre-season party planning is so important. Even though there will be lifeguards at every party to ensure safety, parents or babysitters will still need to be supervising any children in attendance. Often parents can be distracted by socializing with other party goers, but Aquatics International pointed out that this presents a potentially risky situation, which should be addressed prior to pool party season.
Implement a better plan for pool parties
In addition to your facility’s requirements for guest-hosted parties, now is the time to review your event safety policy. Speak to lifeguards or staff who have worked at events and ask if they have suggestions on improving any problems they’ve encountered in the past. If you’re unsure of where to start, here are some tips on safety best practices for pool parties.
1. Make it simple to collect information: In order to know things like, how many lifeguards will be needed or if the party will conflict with other events, property managers need to be able to get party information in advance. Make it easy for people to give you the right information by creating an online, resident-only party request form on your website. Work with your pool company to find out what questions to ask.
2. Require a certain number of chaperones: It’s important to establish a ratio that ensures the party is safe. If the ratio is heavy on children and light on supervising adults, you may have to require more adults to be present. Remember, lifeguards are not babysitters. They are required to keep a close eye on the pool and act quickly in the event of an emergency. A good rule of thumb is one lifeguard for every 25 people. The ratio will depend on your facility’s staff roster, local regulations and normal routines, but speaking to your local pool company can give you a better idea of best practices.
3. Schedule with your pool company: Notify your pool company at least 2-3 weeks in advance to ensure that they will have the proper staff ready on the day of the event. Additional fees may apply if it is an event that is not included in your contract. Ideally, an event calendar can be submitted to the pool company before the start of the season. Include the party start and end times so that the company can staff accordingly. Filling out the necessary paperwork before the start of the season will give you more time for party planning.
4. Run a swim test: If you’re hosting a children’s pool parties, it’s a good idea to conduct a fun swimming ability test before “free swim” time. This doesn’t have to be intimidating. Work with swim instructors to figure out ways to make it fun for the kids and informative for the adults. Once established, you can use this simple test at every children’s pool event.
5. Identify non-swimmers: Pool parties can be large, so you can’t expect lifeguards to remember exactly which kids are strong swimmers and which ones aren’t. Avoid this potentially dangerous situation by identifying the non-swimmers. A bright plastic wristband can indicate that a certain child requires closer supervision.
6. Hold a short safety session: Inform the chaperones about the safety policies by holding a brief safety lesson before the event. Does everyone understand the shallow and deep ends of the pool? Is everyone aware of the pool rules? Taking a few minutes before your pool parties to review rules and what may happen in the event of an emergency can make all the difference.