Some of the most enjoyable times in a child’s life is meeting new friends and spending time outside his or her own home. In the summer months, visiting a friend’s house to swim is a common occurrence. However, this can create a new set of concerns for parents. Pool safety is a hot-button issue that deserves special attention. A new element is added to the fact that parents cannot implement their own rules and guidelines when their child is at a friend’s house.
Kids Swimming with Friends
First and foremost, your child should understand the importance of pool safety when swimming at a friend’s house. This can be taught at an early age, whether or not your family has a private pool in the backyard. One of the staples of pool safety is ensuring that children are always under parental or other adult supervision. Therefore, your child should not enter a pool at a friend’s home unless accompanied by a parent or adult.
Other swimming pool safety rules to teach your child include:
- Always swimming with a buddy so that swimming does not occur alone
- Enrolling the child in swimming classes to ensure comfort in the water and proper swimming
- Staying well-nourished and hydrated in order to avoid exhaustion or fainting
- Walking – never running – around a pool area
- Avoiding pushing, shoving, jumping, and other roughhousing in or around the pool
Meeting the Parents
One of the best ways to understand the situation you’re sending your children into is to meet the friend’s parents. Schedule a play date where you have the opportunity to visit their home. This will allow you to gain some insight into the style of parenting applied in the home. You’ll also have a better grasp on the home environment and family dynamic.
In addition to seeing the home of your child’s friends, invite the parents over to your home as well. This way, you can help to establish a comfortable relationship with the family. By doing so, you’ll be opening doors for a more friendly, open, and communicative environment. If a face-to-face meeting is too difficult, encourage having an extended phone conversation.
Discussing Safety Boundaries
When meeting with parents, you can discuss important topics like allergies, safety issues, rules for swimming at a friend’s house, and other policies you may have in place for your child. One of the most important aspects of this process is to establish to the parents that you have a certain set of guidelines for your child’s daily life and safety. This will also give you the opportunity to learn about the other parents’ policies and rules.