Summer Kiddy Pool Tips

Swimming and summertime just naturally go together! What better way to beat the heat by splashing away in a refreshing pool of water? While us adults often feel we have “better things to do” than spend time frolicking in a pool, kids have all sorts of time on their hands in the summer. A kiddy pool in the back yard is the perfect way to keep your kids entertained during the summer months, and can help prevent the heat-crankiness that so often affects kids during the hot season.

Even if you have a large family-size pool or inground pool, a kiddy pool can be the perfect alternative for toddlers and smaller children who might be overwhelmed by the huge pool (from their viewpoint) where they can get knocked around by the older kids.

Kiddy pools are generally inexepensive, easy to set up, and require little maintenance beyond dumping them out and filling them up again. Kids are pretty good about splashing most of the water out, anyway, so most of that chore will be done for you. Kiddy pools require no filter or heater, so they cost you nothing to run. The initial price of the pool is your only expense (unless you have a water bill to run up); otherwise, a pool provides free entertainment for the kids all summer long!

How To Choose A Kiddy Pool

There are many shapes and sizes kiddy pools on the market. You can choose from molded plastic pools or inflatable pools. The molded plastic pools are inexpensive but usually don’t hold up to rowdy play. They might be a good temporary solution while you are deciding among the more durable inflatable pools. Most molded plastic pools are simply circular in nature, but may also come with slides or seats molded into them. These pools do have the advantage of being easy to turn over and dump out.

Inflatable pools come in a huge variety of shapes, sizes, and extra features. Buy the highest-quality model (not necessarily the one with the most extra features) you can afford for durability; you may be able to use it for several years while cheap ones may not last the summer. Better pools will have a padded bottom for comfort and a drain plug to make letting the water out a simple chore.

Some inflatable pools come with built-in sprinklers that allow you to hook a hose to them to provide a refreshing spray of cool water, or built-in slides. Your budget will probably be the determining factor in your decision, unless you take the kids pool-shopping with you. Then you may as well throw the budget out the window, since they will try to convince you they’ll only be happy with the most extravagant model.

Where To Set Up Your Kiddy Pool

Placing your pool in a grassy spot in the yard provides some cushioning for little swimmers, but unless you move the pool regularly it will kill the grass underneath. Setting the pool up on a concrete pad or wooden deck will prevent harm to the grass, since you can leave it in place as long as you like.

Remove all of the sticks and rocks from the area where you set up your pool, to prevent bare little feet from being cut and to avoid puncturing the bottom of the pool. You will need to provide some cushioning when placing your kiddy pool on a hard surface. Foam rubber pads placed underneath and around the outside of the pool will help protect the kids in case they slip and fall (which they will do often, you can count on it). If your pool already has a padded bottom, then you may only need to pad the surrounding area.

Put the pool in a spot that is at least partially shaded by trees. Kids will sunburn even quicker when playing around water, and the direct sunlight may make the water in a shallow pool too hot for a refreshing playtime. Fill the pool with water and have the kids wait a couple hours for the water to warm up. To them, this will seem an eternity, so be prepared for them to pester you until you say they can get in.

Observe Pool Safety

Even shallow wading pools can pose safety risks. Very small children can drown in only an inch or two of water. You should always supervise your children when they are playing around water, and tell your children they are never allowed to play in the pool when an adult isn’t available to keep an eye on them.

Don’t allow excessively rough horseplay, and never allow any child to hold another child’s head under the water, even briefly in fun. The area around a pool will be slippery and wet, so discourage running.

Empty the pool after each use for absolute safety (and to prevent attracting bugs and wildlife). Nobody can drown in an empty pool! It may be inconvenient to dump and refill larger kiddy pools, but some come with covers. Use the cover without fail, but remember that a child can still get into a covered pool.

Dumping the pool each time it’s used and then refilling it is best, but may not be practical with larger pools. Buy a skimmer to remove grass and debris, and keep the pool covered when it isn’t being used. If the water turns brackish, it’s time to change the water so the little swimmers don’t get skin rashes or infections.

Discourage kids from drinking pool water or letting in splash in their mouths, even if it looks clean. Call a bathroom break often enough to keep them from using it as a potty, as kids will tend to do. Swim diapers can’t be counted on to prevent contamination. Change diapers away from the pool area, and not on the towels or lawn furniture nearby.

Other Uses For Kiddy Pools

Kiddy pools make great beverage coolers when you’re having a backyard party. Fill the pool with ice and add cans or bottles of your favorite beverages, and your guests won’t have to run in and out of the house to get cold drinks.

Molded plastic pools can be used as outdoor toy boxes to throw all the yard toys, balls, and small toy vehicles in when they aren’t being played with. Punch some holes in the bottom to let rain water drain out.

Give your dog his own swimming pool to cool off in. Use a molded plastic pool, of course, so his claws don’t puncture it. Put his pool in a shady spot, out of direct sunlight.

Use a molded plastic pool for a flowerbed. Punch some holes in the bottom for drainage, fill the pool with planting medium, and add your favorite flowers. Petunias and other trailing flowers will drape over the edge for a beautiful effect.

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