Lifeguard at pool party? — The Bump
Birthday Parties

Lifeguard at pool party?

So months after the fact I find out a child nearly drowned at dd's first birthday pool party at our home.

I actually argued with my mom while planning the party because she insisted we hire a lifeguard. I told her our friends were intelligent, responsible parents. And our pool is fenced in. And I would make sure that each child had a parent watching them. At the party I occasionally looked around and everything appeared fine, there were 16 people in our pool, about 5 less than 5 years old.

Nevertheless a friend told me that her son was in the pool with her husband and she happened to hear him gasp for air. She jumped in to grab him. I never even knew anything was going on. She said he "nearly drowned". I imagine if she hadnt seen him struggle, he would have.

Makes DH and I question whether we should have had a lifeguard. Pool are common here and truly, our friends are smart people. But maybe with all the distractions...

I'm just curious to know if anyone on these boards has been to a home pool party that had a hired lifeguard.

Re: Lifeguard at pool party?

  • O.k. - the son was w/ the husband but SHE had to jump in? 

    Honestly, I feel like stuff like this can happen even if there is a lifeguard.  She and her DH were right there and their son "nearly drowned" - what's a lifeguard, who might be across the pool AND has to watch numerous people, going to do differently or more quickly? 

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

    baloneydisc[Deleted User]
  • Loading the player...
  • Thank you!!!

    I really wanted to ask her "Where was your husband during all of this?!" but I didn't want to call him out.  I figured it would be rude on my part and solve nothing.  I should have been passive agressive and said something like, "Wow, scary.  If my DH had lost track of DD in the water I'd have practically killed him!"

    I assume a lifeguard is trained to remained focused on all the swwimmers and recognize signs of drowning, which apparently is a very quiet event, not like the thrashing around we see in movies.  Which is why children drown even when adults are around. (Apologies if I'm preaching to the choir)

    I sensed she was being dramatic but what was I going to say?  Didn't seem right to downplay the seriousness of her son's "near drowning".

    DD's b-day is in July and we live in the desert.  I had planned on holding different theme pool parties year over year because...what else is there to do in 110 degree heat?  I thought about holding smaller parties too, but now that DD is in a new school and we're trying to cultivate friendships with families of that school, it doesn't seem like we'll be having small parties in the future.  Or...maybe we can have smaller parties...but more of them! :)

  • Loading the player...
  • I personally would hire a lifeguard bc it would make me feel better, especially when the kids are old enough to swim without parents in the pool.
    [Deleted User]
  • larkin220 said:

    If your going to have an even bigger pool party you should def get one.

    If your high school or college has a pool, they may have a lifeguard training program and you can hire a graduate. It's not a minimum wage position, just an FYI.

    Since most people are completely unaware of what drowning looks like, I'd hire one.

    We had a pool growing up. After my sister and I each fished a child off the floor of the pool (parents didn't realize a thing was wrong), my mom would pay us to alternate duty during parties. She'd also insist on my dad or her being down there at all times and would remove all big floats (they block view) in favor of a ton of noodles (help support struggling swimmer. They enforced strict rules.

    Many parents don't get it. A ten year old girl jumped in our deep end once and just sank to the bottom. For a moment I thought she was playing until her dad said very casually that she couldn't swim and wasn't used to pools with deep ends. I pulled her out. I was 9 and obviously not a guard yet.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that if there are a lot of people, two or three guards may be better. It's HARD to watch lots of people and changing positions with other guards and having breaks helps them stay alert. Treat them like pros and let them make rules like no running or diving or rough housing.


    image image
  • Thank you!!!

    I really wanted to ask her "Where was your husband during all of this?!" but I didn't want to call him out.  I figured it would be rude on my part and solve nothing.  I should have been passive agressive and said something like, "Wow, scary.  If my DH had lost track of DD in the water I'd have practically killed him!"

    I assume a lifeguard is trained to remained focused on all the swwimmers and recognize signs of drowning, which apparently is a very quiet event, not like the thrashing around we see in movies.  Which is why children drown even when adults are around. (Apologies if I'm preaching to the choir)

    I sensed she was being dramatic but what was I going to say?  Didn't seem right to downplay the seriousness of her son's "near drowning".

    DD's b-day is in July and we live in the desert.  I had planned on holding different theme pool parties year over year because...what else is there to do in 110 degree heat?  I thought about holding smaller parties too, but now that DD is in a new school and we're trying to cultivate friendships with families of that school, it doesn't seem like we'll be having small parties in the future.  Or...maybe we can have smaller parties...but more of them! :)

    I definitely agree with @DaisyBlinks...and my money is on your friend being overly dramatic. Your assumption (bolded) is correct. I've worked as a certified lifeguard and swim instructor and most of the training/continuing ed focuses on recognizing signs of trouble, appropriate coverage, and actual rescues/responses. FWIW, I absolutely hated guarding open swim times because, even though parents were supposed to watch their kids at all times, they'd either let the kid go off on their own or just plain get distracted having fun themselves. That or they'd dump their child into a flotation devices (arm bands, suits with built in floaties, tubes, noodles, etc) and assume it's enough protection. 

    I've never been to a home pool with a hired lifeguard. Depending on the size and depth of your pool, I'd say first step is to limit the number of people you invite. Crowded swimming areas are a recipe for disaster, even with close supervision from adults or lifeguards. If you do hire a lifeguard, be prepared to put some good rules into place (consult the lifeguard on this) and make sure everyone knows the lifeguard has the authority to enforce the rules. If the party is over an hour long or your party is large, you should hire two or three guards to rotate zones of coverage. 
    J13 May Siggy Challenge: People lacking in common sense raise my blood pressure.
    image

    imageimage
    DD 8/11 | DS1 7/13 | DS2 7/13
  • It sounds to me as if your friend is being way over dramatic. Why did she jump in if her husband was in the pool with their son? I have never attended a party where there was a lifeguard. I feel as a parent it is my responsibility to watch my own child and make sure they are safe, not someone elses. Quite honestly I wouldn't feel safer if there was a lifeguard there, it's still my responsibility as a responsible parent. Sounds to me as if the hubby wasn't being watchful enough to make sure his kid didn't "almost drown".

  • Yes, people here have lifeguards for their pool parties with kids. Growing up, I remember them being there, and my neighbor often life guarded parties (he worked at the town pool in the summers as a guard). I live in a NYC suburb.
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards