Healthy Living

Tips to Safely Host a Pool Party

Y-USA Staff

Nothing says summer like a pool party! Being proactive about safety can help ensure your party is fun and keeps kids and adults safe in and around the water. Here are some pool party safety tips from YMCA water safety experts:

1. Always watch your kids around water and assign a “Water Watcher”. This adult is tasked with keeping an active eye on and supervising the weather and everyone around or in a body of water, with no distractions – no phones, no books and no conversations.

Boy at pool's edge2. Assess swimming ability. Make sure all guests, especially children, know how to swim or arrive with a Coast-Guard-approved life jacket. While water toys, such as inflatable floats or pool noodles are fun, they are not safety equipment.

3. Ensure pools are properly fenced and have self-closing and self-latching gates.  Properly fence all pools at least 4 feet in height around the perimeter of the pool/spa and use self-closing and self-latching gates.

4. Ensure swimmers stay away from drains and other pool operations.  Drains can create a strong circulation of water that can attract hair and cause entanglement, increasing the risk of entrapment.

5. Ensure you know life-saving skills, including CPR and have an emergency plan. Have an emergency plan in place in case of accidents or injuries. Learn CPR for adults and children.  Make sure the assigned “Water Watcher” is aware of the procedure as well.

6. Establish pool rules and communicate them clearly to all guests.

  • Ban breath-holding contests. Breath-holding contests are a common pool game but can also be dangerous. Do not encourage a child to hold their breath for a long time while swimming, as it can lead to complications and a possible emergency.
  • No running around the pool.
  • No diving in shallow areas.
  • Stay hydrated. Provide and encourage guests to drink plenty of water, especially if they are swimming and spending time in the sun.

7. Don’t forget sun protection. Consider providing sunscreen at your party and encourage guests to apply it regularly. Offer shaded areas or umbrellas for guests to take breaks from the sun.  Dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, which blocks 97% of the sun’s UVB rays.

Teaching children how to be safe around water is not a luxury--it is a necessity. That's why our Safety Around Water program teaches essential water safety skills, which opens up a world of possibilities to satisfy youthful curiosity in a safe, structured environment. 

Tips to Safely Host a Pool Party

Be Water Ready

At the Y, we are committed to building confidence in and around water through our Safety Around Water Program and swimming lessons for all ages, which are offered at locations across the country. Want to learn more about water safety for a fun and safe summer? Find a Safety Around Water class at your local Y and enroll today.


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