Summer is winding down, but the trips to the pool do not have to be over yet! Not only that, but it is not too late to make pool trips even safer than before. If your kids are old enough to swim without your or another guardian’s direct supervision but not old enough to go completely on their own, the buddy system at the pool is the right system to implement. It will keep them safe while providing them a friend, or many friends, to be with all afternoon long!
What is the buddy system?
The buddy system is a way to make sure your child, or someone you are watching, stays safe without having to be in your line of vision the entire time. You, as the guardian, assign them one or more people to stick with for the day; they are in charge of checking in with each other and making sure they know where the other is at all times. The buddy system is typically done in pairs, but can be any size group you are comfortable with. It may be easier for a smaller child to only keep track of one or two other people, though in a group of 4 or 5 it might be best to keep them together.
How does it work?
There are a handful of ways you can establish the buddy system with your child at the pool. The easiest way is to have a sibling be their buddy! They likely already have a sense of accountability to a sibling, making them all the more likely to help keep them safe. If your child is going without a sibling, a close friend will serve the same role. Friends in a close group will probably be together the majority of the time anyways, making it an easy and simple system to communicate.
How does it increase safety at the pool?
With someone constantly checking in on your child, the buddy system is a way to make sure people are always accounted for. If for some reason something happens and you need to know, your child’s buddy will be the first to tell you. You will still be nearby, but the pressure of having to keep an eye out the whole afternoon will be eased.
Next time you are at the pool, consider the buddy system for younger kids to keep them safe while enjoying their time!