Once the heat of summer fully sets in, you and your family may decide that it is high time to use those community pool passes. However, just because the heat is getting crazy, that does not mean that you need to. Each community pool has etiquette guidelines and a set of rules for your safety. Here are some of IKO Community Management’s basic tips for proper pool behavior:
Come prepared. It helps to create a checklist for your pool visit. Be sure to pack towels, extra sunscreen, a change of clothes, sunglasses and shower shoes. Do not forget to include your kids’ plastic pool toys, foam noodles, goggles and inflatables as well as some healthy snacks for breaks between swims. Some pools offer locker rooms where you can leave these items, so you do not have to worry about getting your bag wet.
Tip: If you have a child who is not potty-trained, consider packing some waterproof swim diapers. These allow your child to swim confidently, and other neighbors do not have to worry about an accident in the water. Also consider buying a brightly colored swim vest (similar to a lifejacket) and floaties for your child’s safety.
Shower. Much like trips to the beach, it is a good idea to rinse off before and after you hit the neighborhood pool. You do not want to get into a pool with outside bacteria, and you do not want to leave with chlorine remnants still on you and you family. Most communities offer showers in their pool bathrooms. Consider reapplying sunscreen after showering (and liberally throughout your visit) to avoid sunburn.
Bring good food. You don’t need to break out the grill and start cooking hotdogs. Simply bring healthy snacks for your kids. Most community pools have rules against food and drinks near or in the water, but some neighborhoods provide tables and chairs in the surrounding area. Sugary sodas and candy particles create bacterial growth if exposed to the pool, so consider packing fruits or vegetables instead. It’s better for your kid and for the pool. Also, leave the adult beverages at home. Most pools have strict rules against bringing glass due to all of the bare feet present.
Be polite. Whether you are at the community pool or a friend’s backyard barbeque, be courteous and cooperative. Keep your music and conversation at a reasonable volume, wear appropriate swimwear and properly dispose of trash. For community pools, be conscientious of lap swimmers, exercise classes and adult swim times, and take responsibility for your children. Talk to your kids about what is and is not OK for pool behavior.
Respect the rules. Each community pool has a different set of rules, but no matter the regulations, you and your family should always abide by them. They are there for your safety and protection. Some common ones include no running and no diving in shallow water. It is safe to establish a “no dunking or roughhousing” policy with your children to eliminate chicken fights, towel whipping and other unsafe activities. Even though most pools require adult supervision for small children, tell your children to double check if there is an available lifeguard or a trustworthy adult watching before they jump in.
Summer is the time for fun in the sun, and community pools are the perfect way of getting away without taking a vacation. We encourage taking your family to the neighborhood pool every chance you get, but make sure everyone is prepared and aware of the rules. From all of us at IKO Community Management, we hope you have a safe and enjoyable pool season.