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Pool Party Pointers

June 9, 2015 , ,

Mission Inn Pool

Pool at Mission Inn

Summer is perfect for outdoor partying. Staying safe to enjoy the entire season injury free is important.  Families in Arizona enjoy trips to lakes, some river rafting, and many gatherings around pools. Since the heat is intense and the sun is strong we take precautions. Sunscreen, or better yet, sunscreen garments and hats are needed even when the weather is cloudy. Altitude is a factor in the intensity of solar damage. Well above sea level, at 2388 ft, Tucson delivers sunburn fast.  We need to be mindful for cosmetic reasons, and especially because we risk skin cancer from too much exposure.

When adults and kids gather poolside it is frequently assumed that “someone” is watching the kids next to the water.  In settings where there is no lifeguard on duty it is imperative to designate one or more full time sentries to watch the pool.  Switch frequently in order to share the responsibility and still enjoy the party.  The person who is watching does not need to be a strong swimmer, but does need to establish order and discipline.  With young people this is best done with humor and a complete up front understanding of what is permitted and what is prohibited.  A teen who is mature can help guard the younger kids, but only if adults are on hand to deal with decision making.  In the event that a person in the pool is in distress for any reason please remember to assist them in this order:

  1. THROW- any floatation device to assist the swimmer
  2. TOW-use a buoy with a cord to toss to the swimmer, then pull them to the side
  3. ROW-since a rowboat is not for pools this could be a raft used to reach the victim
  4. GO- swim out to the swimmer only if you are trained to do a rescue

These rules apply for open water, where row boats are discharged before sending a swimmer.  In a pool setting lots of things can be used to tow such as  towels, floating noodles, or even a chair cushion.  If you lie down on the deck and extend your arm you will be able to pull your swimmer to shore without being pulled in yourself.  You can also wade into the water where you can stand and extend something to tow the person.  Even if you think you are a strong swimmer avoid a swimming rescue if at all possible.  Drowning folks find super human strength and are often irrational.  The very worst pool parties end in double drownings.

Using good judgement avoids injury and trauma in the water and around the edge of the pool.  If you establish a rule, such as no running, you must stick to it.  I think when kids of different abilities to swim are together a no dunking rule is a wise one to make.  In general, respect for all involved is the aim of regulating water fun.  Lightening storms are common here, and come with a great deal of danger.  Err on the side of caution getting out of the water when lightening is spotted. It can travel surprisingly quickly.  Insist calmly that everyone exit the pool in order to be able to swim again another day.  I have seen very intelligent people resist this notion.  You may have to be very firm. It is so much better than crispy critters on the bottom of the pool.  Good luck striking the right balance between cannon balls and discipline.  Enjoy!!!

pool at night

pool at night

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GREAT reminder post Pam! People – once they start imbibing or just wrapped up in socializing. It’s not just about kids but about anyone in the water.
You are so right about the lightning too.


Stevie Wilson (@LAStory)

June 11, 2015

you know I just read a blog post that listed ‘going to a pool party’ as one of the top ten things to do in LA! This is a good sensible post!


June 13, 2015

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