All posts by dana

How to Throw a Safe Kids’ Pool Party

Family with kids in a pool smiling, with caption "How to throw a safe kids' pool party"

By Dana Robinson

Children who were born during the warm spring and summer months routinely experience a perk that fall and winter babies have only dreamed of—annual birthday pool parties!

These fortunate kids have the luxury of mixing their birthday celebrations with cannonball dives and games of Marco Polo. But along with all of the sun and fun comes the additional threat of pool-related mishaps, like injuries or even drowning. Parents can help mitigate these threats by following a few simple rules:

Designate a Water Watcher

Safe Kids Worldwide, an organization that strives to help families and communities keep kids safe from injuries, recommends having a designated Water Watcher when children are swimming near adults. A Water Watcher is an adult who agrees to keep a close eye on the kids in the water, without distractions, and wear a Water Watcher tag. After a designated amount of time (15-20 minutes), the card is passed to another adult, who is responsible for supervising the kids. This allows all of the adults to share in the fun of the party, as well as the responsibility for the children’s safety.

To designate an official Water Watcher at your next kids’ pool party, download the Water Watcher tag here.

Learn CPR

Accidents happen, and you just never know when cardio-pulmonary resuscitation can help save a child’s life. If a child is drowning his/her heart could stop beating. CPR is used to keep oxygenated blood flowing, which helps keep vital organs alive. The American Heart Association believes that keeping the blood flow active extends the opportunity for a successful resuscitation once trained medical staff arrive.

To find a CPR certification class in your area, click here. Classes may also be available at a local community college or university.

Establish the Rules Early On

Before the kids jump into the pool it’s a good idea to sit them down for a minute or two and go over a few safety rules. Misty Selph, program developer, and Jennifer White, swim school specialist, at the Starfish Aquatics Institute, recommend establishing the following rules:

  • No running
  • Jump in feet first
  • No pushing or shoving
  • No holding others under the water
  • Look before you jump in the water to make sure that it’s clear of people and toys

Know Your Swimmers

Selph and White also recommend that the adults who are hosting the party know the swimming ability of the children attending. Non-swimmers need to wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket because, sadly, inflatable water wings can easily come off or deflate and put children at risk. Parents either need to bring their own lifejackets or make sure that the host is providing them.

Make Sure the Pool is Clean and Clear

Cloudy pool water can be caused by a number of things, including improper chlorine and pH balance–issues that can usually be remedied by adding the right mix of chemicals to the water. But cloudy water is not only unattractive to the eye; it can also be extremely dangerous. The cloudy haze of the water makes it all but impossible to see if a child is slowly sinking to the to bottom of the pool or is in any other kind of danger. So, make sure to keep that pool clean and clear before those party invitations go out.

Pool Scouts is here to clean up before and after your pool party! Be sure to give us a call to help out this party season!

 

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How To Avoid Sunburn

Mom putting sunscreen on her daughter near the pool

By Dana Robinson

Where would we be without the sun? Cold, pale and starving, that’s where. The sun is the source of all life on this planet, and mild exposure to its plentiful rays can help boost your immune system and make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. However, too much sun can result in a myriad of problems, including sunburn. And as the swim season gets underway you and your family are even more prone to the dangers of sun exposure. But don’t fret. Human ingenuity has created ways for all of us to enjoy everything that the outdoors has to offer without the side effects of scorched skin. So, you can enjoy your time at the pool, the park, the ocean or the camping grounds, and still return home with the fresh, healthy skin that you left with.

Preventing Sunburns

Sunburns are arguably the top hazard of spending too much time outdoors in warm weather (bug bites and profuse sweating are tied for second place.) These burns are not only irritating to the touch, but they can result in blistering, peeling skin and eventually lead to skin cancer. “Unprotected skin will burn in about 10-30 minutes, depending on the time of day, your skin type, and your altitude,” says Dr. Janet H. Prystowsky, board certified dermatologist. “By the time you notice warning signs, like redness, sensitivity, and warm skin, you’re likely well on your way to being sunburnt.”

To reduce your chances of too much sun exposure you could hide indoors all summer or seek refuge under a shady tree or canopy–but that’s hardly the way to make the most of the summer season. Your best line of defense against a sunburn, during the summer or any time of the year, is wearing sunscreen.

What Kind?

Prystowsky recommends using a formula that is water-resistant and contains zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide, which block both UVA and UVB radiation. She also recommends using a formula that has an SPF of 30-50. Yes, there are sunscreens on the market that offer SPF levels up to 100, but “after SPF 50, the difference in protection becomes less significant,” she says. “SPF 100 is not twice as protective as SPF 50. The real determining factor of protection is applying enough and reapplying frequently.”

How Much?

Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours or after swimming or sweating. And be sure to apply that sunscreen all over your body. “Even if you are wearing a shirt, put sunscreen on underneath,” says Prystowsky. She also notes that the ears, ankles, feet, and the back of your neck are places that are often overlooked–so don’t forget to slather it on in those areas as well. And if you think that you’ve applied enough sunscreen then you should still probably apply more. Prystowsky notes that the American Academy of Dermatology recommends using enough sunscreen to fill a shot glass, but that most people only use half that amount. So, keep on slathering until your entire body is covered. After all, you never can have too much protection.

Pool Scouts likes to help our clients maximize their fun in the sun. So, if you agree to keep your skin safe from the sun’s harmful rays, we’ll agree to provide you with a clean, sparkling pool to jump into all season long.

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