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Science Kids on the Loose

Science Kids on the Loose

Pool Party!

My little Leo turned 5 last week. I feel like we have stepped from babyhood to boyhood. Although he’s been out of diapers for over two years and he no longer asks me to pick him up, I could still squeeze his chunky legs and cuddle him at bedtime. This week Leo looks taller to me and not as squishy. We still have lots of cuddles (thank goodness) but I see the Kindergartener in him. Tall, confident, talkative, and a little more defiant than the 4 year old I knew. It is all good news, it is all natural, and I am proud of him.
But I couldn’t resist the urge to throw him a good, old-fashioned birthday party. Leo requested a pool party at our community pool and I was more than happy to plan it. I love planning birthday parties. I spent hours on Pinterest, on birthday websites, in party stores, and at Target (of course.) We invited Leo’s buddies from school and planned it all for a Friday afternoon. Siblings were welcome. We invited 16 children in all. Then I thought about it: 16 kids swimming in a pool, under my supervision. Uh oh.
The best money I spent for Leo’s party was on a certified lifeguard. I found her through a friend and it was well worth the expense. Her only job was to watch the kids in the water and it allowed me to throw the party and the other moms to relax a bit and enjoy what I put together. The lifeguard is also a swim instructor and she happily agreed to talk with the kids about pool safety.
Water safety is a big deal out here in California year-round. Many homes and communities have pools, there are plenty of vacation areas with lakes, and of course, the Pacific Ocean is in our backyard. Drowning is a huge concern for children’s safety out and it is imperative to me that Henry and Leo learned how to swim. We took lessons last summer and the focus was on floating and treading water. More money well spent.
For Leo’s pool party, the lifeguard waited until all the guests had arrived and the kids were in the pool to give them her talk.
She had three main rules:
1. No running and jumping into the pool.
2. No pushing or jumping on your friends.
3. No swimming in the deep end.
It was hard to keep the swimmers’ attention but Leo did offer to demonstrate a dead man’s float to illustrate drowning. I have to admit, I did not enjoy watching my little man float around on his belly. I prefer the new term for that kind of float: the jellyfish float.
Surprisingly, there were no mishaps that afternoon. Everyone got along and no injuries were reported. The lifeguard sat on the steps of the pool for two hours and then we all had cake. It was wonderful. We all felt safe and relaxed. Summer has arrived! One look at Leo at the end of the afternoon confirms it:
What rules do you have in your family for swimming safety? Do you children take swimming lessons?

Produced by: Funding is provided by:
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