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Mommy Guide For The Pool With A Toddler : Summer 2023

        This week was the first week my son has been to the public pool. He was so excited to see so much water and play around in the toddler splash area. He was grinning ear to ear and was excited to have the water splash all over him and cool down from the hot Texas summer sun. While my son was having fun, I was getting nervous and had been scrambling around the house to be sure I was well-prepared for the first pool outing with my son. Through that first day at the pool, I learned a lot not only about the necessities to bring but also keeping in mind safety at the pool. Here is a list that I have created to help make the experience more enjoyable and safe.

Pool Necessities

  1. Swim Diapers: My son isn’t potty trained yet and if your's aren't either buy some swim diapers. swim diapers are a must, they keep poop contained and don’t swell up into a fat sponge. I would suggest not putting them on until you get to the pool. When kids pee in them they tend to leak through since they don’t absorb any liquid. Not that I know from experience, but I know from experience.

  2. Sunscreen: This is a no-brainer. Sunscreen is the most important thing to have in your pool bag. Last year I had a concerning mole removed that would have caused skin cancer down the line had I not taken care of it. That scared me enough to not leave the house without sunscreen and proper sun-covering items of clothing. And your kids should be no different either. I spent my childhood in the sun all the time and had a sun worshipper phase in my teens for a bit. Start good habits and teach your children the importance of wearing sunscreen. And don’t forget to reapply every few hours.

  3. Swimwear: Finding the right swimsuit is just as important as sunscreen. Get a swimsuit for your child that provides good coverage and sun protection. Check tags and labels to ensure your child’s swimsuit has proper U.V. protection. Invest also in a good swim hat to protect their face and get your child a good pair of small sunglasses so they don’t burn their eyes from the bright sun.

  4. Swim Vest or Floaties: My son is not a strong swimmer he is more of a sitting in the waiting pool and splashing around kind of kid. If your child is also not yet a strong swimmer check out Walmart or Amazon for child floaties and vests. Check if your local pool has vest options you can borrow for the day as well. You’ll just need to tell them your child's weight and they can find a vest that best suits your child so they can be safe.

  5. Towels: Pack a couple of large towels to dry off your child after swimming. Even better if you buy towels with fun characters they like so they are more inclined to use them.

  6. Pool Toys: Having some pool toys can keep your child entertained and engaged in the water. Floats, water balls, and squirt toys are popular options. Choose toys appropriate for your child's age and swimming abilities. But keep in mind toys can also entice children to go into places they shouldn’t, keep toys at a safe distance, and only have a few out at a time. We don’t want a child walking into deeper water to grab a toy that catches their eye. 

  7. Snacks and Water: Swimming burns a lot of energy and can make you hungry and thirsty always been a number of snacks. I like to bring refreshing fruits like strawberries, grapes, and blueberries. I also like to bring crackers and other snacks that won’t go bad in the sun and heat. Usually chips, goldfish, and some sort of bar that doesn’t have any chocolate or candy that can melt. Bring along some healthy snacks and water to keep them refreshed during breaks. If you’re gonna be out for a long day in the hot sun bring plenty of water. I also like to bring an electrolyte drink for more hydration. Remember to keep children well-rested in

  8. Plastic Bags: Pack a few plastic bags for wet swimsuits, towels, and any other items that may get soaked. It helps keep the rest of your belongings dry and prevents any mess.

  9. First Aid Kit: Accidents can happen, so having a basic first aid kit with essentials like band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers is a good idea.

  10. Extra Clothes: Don't forget to pack a change of clothes for your child, including underwear and shoes, so they can get comfortable after swimming.

How to Keep Kids Safe at the Pool

   Remember to supervise your child at all times while at the pool. This leads to the second part of the blog post discussing child safety in water. I have gone to a funeral where a child died from drowning years ago and it was heartbreaking. And during my son’s first time at the pool, I realize how fast things can go wrong. Water doesn’t have to be deep for children to drown, it only takes 10 seconds and a few inches of water for a tragedy to happen. According to drowning is the number 1 cause of death for children ages 1-4. Keeping kids safe at the pool is of utmost importance. Here are some essential tips to ensure their safety:

Photo by rajat sarki on Unsplash
  1. Supervision: Always supervise children closely when they are in or near the pool. Assign a designated adult or a responsible person to actively watch them without any distractions. Don’t assume someone is watching your child when with other adults. Communicate who is watching and communicate when it is someone else's job to take over. If needed have an adult where a vest to indicate who is in charge of watching your child or children when at a pool or beach.

  2. Learn CPR and First Aid: It’s been a while since I had been to a baby CPR class, but this summer I’m going to refresh my skills and learn CPR again, you’ll never know when you’ll need it.

  3. Pool Fencing and Barriers: I don’t have a pool at my home, but my grandparents, uncles, and other family members may have a pool. If they do make sure it is enclosed with a self-locking gate and suitable pool fencing. The fence should be at least four feet high and have no gaps or openings that a child could crawl through. This prevents unsupervised access to the pool area.

  4. Swim Lessons: One of my priorities this summer is to get my son into swimming lessons. Enroll your child in age-appropriate swim lessons taught by certified instructors. These lessons can help them develop water safety skills, and swimming abilities, and increase their confidence in the water. However, even with swim lessons, constant supervision is still necessary.

  5. Teach Water Safety Rules: Even though my son is just only about to be two years old it is never too early to start teaching them about pool safety. Teach them about basic water safety rules. Teach them to never swim alone, always ask for permission before entering the water, and not to run near the pool area. And just as important people might not think about too much is to emphasize the importance of not diving in shallow areas and never pushing or jumping on others in the pool. Not only do we want to prevent a tragedy happen with our own child but also prevent our child from unintentionally hurting and creating a tragedy for another family. 

  6. Teach Emergency Procedures: Teach your child how to respond in case of an emergency. Teach them to call for help, either by shouting for an adult or dialing emergency services, such as 911. Make sure they know their address or location so they can relay it accurately in case of an emergency.

  7. Be Prepared for Emergencies: Keep a well-stocked poolside first aid kit, a reaching pole, and a flotation device readily available. Knowing where these items are and how to use them can be vital in case of an emergency.

    Keeping these points in mind you can have a summer with more peace of mind. Being informed of the possible dangers make you more prepared and empowers you to keep your family safe while still having fun. Comment below what points in the article surprised you. I will have all safety resources for parents during the summer listed below.