It's getting to be that time. The weather is getting warmer, and the flowers are out and blooming. Soon, community pools and beaches will be opening. While kids have spent months staring wistfully at the pool, it was too cold to enjoy. But now is the perfect time to get all the supplies you need for a perfect day at the pool. Have you ever gone to the pool and realized you forgot essential things you wanted or needed? Maybe they’re items that just bring you comfort while you’re away from home. Do you have toys for kids, so they don't get bored at the pool? Proper preparation is the key to pool time fun. After all, after the preparation, all that is left is to have fun. Read on for everything you need for a great day at the pool.
First, let's start with a practical item. Goggles can be necessary, especially in a chlorinated pool. Too much exposure to chlorine will irritate the eyes and consequently cut your stay at the pool short. Kids love to have goggles and even want to wear them initially. But there is usually a lot of fidgeting with them, and kids love to also take them off when they become uncomfortable on the head. To keep the goggles on your child's eyes, make sure they’re adjusted correctly so they’re not be too tight or too loose. A comfortable fit is what you're after. With a pair of snugly fitting goggles, small children who might not otherwise do so can open their eyes underwater. This encourages them to hold their breath, an essential step in learning to swim.
If you have kids in diapers or just kids of a certain age who might not be totally potty trained, you're going to need to grab some quality swim diapers. Swim diapers prevent pool accidents, and therefore significantly reduce the spread of bacterial contamination. Such infection-causing bacteria can be dangerous and can make people very sick in or around the pool facility. Swim diapers have many benefits over regular diapers, especially for pools. They don't swell up like regular diapers, come in a variety of sizes, are easy to locate when purchasing—and when you do purchase them and go to the pool, they’re very easy to use. Swim diapers keep your child and other pool patrons safe. So, it’s a responsibility to put a swim diaper on your child if they need one.
If your kiddo isn't water-safe just yet, grab some floaties to help them stay above water, swim, and relax. Thankfully, floaties have come a long way since the flimsy inflatables you’d slide onto your child's arms and then pray that they stand in place. There are lots of options out there. A swim vest has an inflatable section going across the chest connected to the arm inflatables. It fits snugly and won't come off since the entire unit is one piece. They are designed to let kids move and play freely in the water, which is very important when kids are getting used to being there and learning to swim. Stability in the water can help boost their confidence as they’re learning. It can also take a load of worry off your mind to see your kids protected. The best part is that floaties don’t get in the way of their fun. They can climb in and out of the pool, and even hold pool toys since both hands are free.
Sunscreen is vital for protecting your skin against harmful UVA and UVB rays from the sun. This goes for your entire family; sun protection is equally crucial for all. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that shields against UVA (causes premature aging) and UVB (causes skin burning). The skin cancer foundation recommends SPF 15 or higher. For long days in the sun, use an SPF of 30 and water-resistant sunscreen. Sunscreen works better when applied 30 minutes before going out. Remember, use it on your entire body. The effects will wear off after a time, so reapply every two hours and after swimming or sweating.
Now that we’ve covered the practical aspects of pool visitation, it's time for the fun parts. The pool is entertaining enough on its own. Some of us are content to simply sit in the water, swim leisurely, swim laps, or not even get in the water at all. But your kids aren't wired like that. They need even more entertainment than just the pool itself, just like at home when the TV isn't enough to entertain them. And you know the attention span of kids! They’re always off to explore the next thing. So, come prepared with some toys to keep the pool fun well into the afternoon.
- Pool Noodles–Pool noodles could perhaps be the most fantastic and versatile pool or beach toy invented. They’re so versatile they can be played in several different ways. They can be floated upon for smaller children—especially solid core pool noodles that float really well—and kids will love to bonk each other with them. And they won't get hurt! There's almost no way to cause injury with a pool noodle to another person, so they’re safe to use. They come in a variety of colors which makes them fun for kids. They can take a lot of abuse and are pretty durable and inexpensive.
- Diving Toys–In contrast to a pool noodle, diving toys sink to the bottom. Kids love the challenge and encouragement they receive when they retrieve the toy off the bottom of the pool. Some kids can dive in the deep end; some are just ready for retrieving in the shallow end. Find what is comfortable for your child, and then push them a little to dive a little deeper. Doing this helps them learn to swim as their lung capacity increases—and they can enjoy games along the way.
- Baby Toys–There are tons of toys just for babies on the market, and you're going to want to take advantage of that. Good pool games for babies involve anything that keeps them above water, since, of course, they can’t yet swim. Your child gets to play with the big kids in the shallow end (if shallow enough). Many pools have slopes now, where it's possible to be in a foot of water along with everyone else.
These are just some of the basics, and a lot could be added to the list for personal comfort. Maybe a personal listening device or Bluetooth speaker could be played on a table—at a safe distance from the water, of course—for some tunes. You'll definitely need lots of drinking water to stay hydrated, too. So, be prepared. We hope this article informs you of everything you need for a great day at the pool. With proper preparation, the whole family will have fun with these tips.