1. Learn or relearn CPR fi you’re going to be spending time poolside. Let’s hope you never use it, but being prepared will make pool time less stressful.
2. If your child is new to the pool, get some lessons, or plan to spend a lot of time in the pool yourself. Kids not only need instruction on how to swim, they need to learn basic pool rules like “no running” and what to do if they can’t touch bottom. NEVER think back lovingly on the old days when dads would throw the kid in the deep end and expect a fast learning experience. Do not be that dad.
3. No dunking. Kids take the example from you and dunking, especially with little kids can be very dangerous since they often end up swallowing a lot of water. It can also be very traumatic in ways that are hard to understand for a large adult and can result in a fear of water.
4. Kids under 5 need to be supervised by someone IN the pool at all times.
5. The corollary: never turn your back on little kids in the water, even if it’s just for a second to get the phone or more lemonade. Disasters with little kids happen when parents aren’t vigilant. Don’t count on lifeguards who are there for an emergency. Your child, while in the pool, is your responsibility, so while they are little at least, hold off on the beer or Mojito until after swim time.