We are currently hanging out in Orlando at Universal Orlando. Since we’re visiting the new Volcano Bay this week & staying at the gorgeous Sapphire Falls resort, I thought this was a good time to bring up water park & hotel pool safety.
We road tripped down with a stop at Hilton Head Island on the way.
Road trips rock for that very reason: you can make a stop anywhere you think you need one. I picked up that little perk when I was stuck in the back of the family station wagon as a kid.
I remember eagerly looking forward to signs that we’d be pulling into a hotel for the night.
The drives were long, but the payoffs were big: hotel stops and hotel pools. We loved them!
Throw in a water park and my folks had a car full of happy kiddos. They learned early on that happy kids made the long miles much easier on everybody.
My parents are really smart folks.
Sure, we had a pool at home. But these were HOTEL pools, people! Somehow that made things even cooler to us kids.
It’s a sentiment that my children embrace as well.
As a mom, I love still love them, but I’ll admit there are things about an unknown pool or water park that make me nervous.
Will my kids remember to be safe? Will the lifeguards pay attention? Heck, are there lifeguards present? Will my children stay together? Will they walk and not run? And do we have enough sunscreen?!
Aaaahhhh! So many questions about safety!
6 Simple Rules for Water Park and Hotel Pool Safety
Do Your Job. Parents: that means YOU!
Water safety has to be a partnership between parents and the parks or pools you are visiting. Parents, we need to stay focused and aware when visiting water parks or pools with our kids.
Life Vests For the Littles. If you have a non-swimmer or a weak swimmer, please deck them out in a Coast Guard approved life jacket. Most water parks I’ve visited supply them, but you can pick one up for relatively cheap online as well for those hotel visits.
Bring your own life vest if you are unsure of fit or availability.
Lazy rivers and wave pools, two of my families favorite water park locations, can be especially dangerous for weak swimmers.
Listen and Follow Directions.?The water parks I’ve been to have safety signs listed everywhere! Audio reminders were often shared as well. Read the signs, listen to the recordings and stay aware. Advise your children to do the same.
And be sure to follow the lifeguards? instructions. Let them know immediately if you see someone in trouble.
Protect Your Feet. Buy some simple water shoes or sandals. They don?t cost much, but after walking a few miles (yes- miles!) and up and down a couple zillion flights of stairs?we knew they were worth every penny. No one wants blisters or burns from hot pavement!
They’ve traveled with me through many a water park and are well worth the investment.
Some attractions will ask you to remove them before you ride, so check in advance on the water shoe rules.
Sun Protection for ALL. For the love of all mothers everywhere, do NOT forget the sunscreen! Apply generously and often to the kiddos and yourself. Nothing screams “bad parent” like a bright red blistering face and back in your family pictures.
Wear a hat and bring an overshirt for when you’ve had enough sun. My kids also wear shirts throughout the day to add an extra layer of protection.
Have a Meeting Place. This is a good rule for any big outing with kids. Amusement parks or water parks: pick a place in advance that acts as the meeting place. If anyone gets separated or lost, they will know where to go! Try to score someplace in the shade for bonus parenting points. Install the buddy system with your group as well.
There you have it. 6 simple rules to get you safely through the summer at any water park or hotel pool!
Patty Holliday is a Marvel loving, Disney obsessed wife, and mother of four. She’s a travel agent specializing in Disney & Universal vacations- and loves a candid confession. Find her in Virginia (or anywhere frequent flyer miles or her trusty minivan takes her.)