Essential tips for a family holiday with a swimming pool
Taking your kids on a holiday can be quite challenging at times. Taking your kids on a family holiday at a vacation home where there is also a swimming pool can be even more challenging... pretty much at all times.
While the pool gives your little ones hours of (exhausting) entertainment, thus also ensuring a good night sleep... for you all... things can get a little "slippery" if you don't know how to handle them.
It's thus very important that you set some ground rules from the beginning, such as no running next to the pool on the slippery floor, or no jumping in the pool when no adults are present and so on.
In short, here's a few hints on how to keep relaxed (and keep your anxiety to a minimum) on a holiday with children at a swimming pool accommodation:
Get to know your grounds – and your holiday pool
Here we have to say that before you allow your children to enter the pool at your holiday home or holiday park with a swimming pool, test the grounds. Check it out yourself, to see where the water is deeper, and where it is more shallow. It happens sometimes that kids mistake a shallow area with a deep one for example, they jump in and hit their heads. And let's face it... kids are not the only ones this happens to, so even more so... test the grounds and the waters.
Don't assume anything, nor rely on others
Let's say you arrive with your little ones at your holiday home with a swimming pool on Costa Brava, Spain. The weather is nice, it's sunny and warm, your accommodation is more than comfy, but it's the pool that first caught your eye, let's face it. If it's a common pool for example in a holiday park maybe, don't just assume that the pool attendant is also a lifeguard. Don't just rely on these things, make sure you know them. Ask before if the pool is fenced, and don't rely on armbands and other things like this to be enough for your little ones' safety in the pool.
A fenced swimming pool might just be your best friend
For a family holiday with a swimming pool, a fenced pool might just be your best allied. If you book a holiday home with swimming pool in France for example, you will discover that they even have a law in this country that requires for all outdoor swimming pools to be fenced. Not a bad idea at all, considering that kids don't really have the same sense of danger as adults.
Swimming pool toys? Sure, but not ALL of them at once
There are so many swimming pool toys for the little ones... and yes, let's face it, they are really fun: from inflatables to dive toys, water pistols and rubber rings, they make the pool time endlessly more fun. Still, try to keep the number of toys in the pool to a minimum, as they can sometimes be quite distracting and they can also prevent you from seeing the floor of the pool. Sometimes indeed less is more, so try to make your kids appreciate their swimming pool toys... less of them at a time.
Maximum fun with water games
Playing games in the pool helps the little ones develop their water confidence. If you afterward want to take them to the beach and to swim in the sea, it will be much easier. For example, you can teach them how to dive by placing some special dive sticks at the bottom of the pool and having a contest of who gets most of them out (while you are also in the pool preferably, of course). Set a challenge for underwater swimming with goggles on, on one breath. Play tag and teach your children how to move around in the water.
When you do get to the sea/lake/river from the swimming pool...
When it comes to beach swimming safety, it's best to do your research. Find a holiday villa next to a child friendly beach, see if there are lifeguards on the beach, learn about the beach flags and what they mean. Find out if there are dangerous currents in the area, never underestimate what is under the water. Teach your kids to never turn their back to the sea when they are paddling near waves, as at any point a wave could break and roll them under the water, making them lose their focus and direction. Also any inflatables in the sea are not that recommended, as they can blow you out to sea when you least expect it. When it comes to rivers and lakes, no matter how calm the waters may seem, always check them out: the lakes and river beds may be stony, uneven, or they may drop away suddenly, there may be mild currents that can unbalance the children... don't underestimate the water!
Take a first aid course
Just in case... it can't hurt. Knowing how to resuscitate a child can be very important, as you can imagine. It's not rocket science, but it's something you need to learn and know as precisely as possible. All in all, a family holiday at a holiday park with a swimming pool can be a lot of fun, it can help you relax and spend some great moments together. Travel safe and enjoy your summer splashing with smiles!
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