Company provides lifeguards for pool parties

Posted at 6:46 PM, Apr 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-25 21:46:03-04

An 8-year-old boy drowned in a community pool in Mission Valley over the weekend, prompting the discussion of safety during pool parties.

Jennifer Cotton knows when she's hosting a party, there are too many distractions to safely watch all the kids in the pool.

When her daughter Caroline turned four, she hired a lifeguard from Floaties Swim School in Poway.

Her two-year-old Jake is quite curious, so without a lifeguard she worries about him slipping through the pool gate while adults are socializing

"Everybody turns there back for just a second and an accident can happen," said Mike Morrill, owner of Floaties.

Morrill says his lifeguards will scan the pool while the conversation gets going and the drinks are flowing.

The cost is $100 for three hours.

"They're watching that gate as they're scanning that pool to really make sure that safety is the number one priority of that event," said Cotton.

If you can't afford a lifeguard, a simple solution is to designate one adult who won't be drinking alcohol to wear a lanyard, a whistle or even a certain shirt so everyone knows which adult is keeping eyes on the pool.

"As soon as you get that thing you know your eyes are on the pool rather than just thinking that somebody else is doing it," said Morrill.

Cotton says paying a lifeguard is worth pinching pennies elsewhere when planning a party.

"Maybe you don't have balloons at that party, but you have a lifeguard, because at the end of the day no one's going to remember the balloons, they're going to remember that their children were safe and that they had peace of mind and so did you," said Cotton.

Morrill says supervision is key because drowning typically happens silently.

"By the time the child realizes they're in trouble, they're under water and you don't hear them so there's not a lot of thrashing and screaming for help like you see in the movies," he explained.