Whether you want to have some fun with the entire family or just a relaxing dip after a long day, a pool in your back garden could be the perfect addition for you!
During sunny days and warm evenings, kids across the country will don their swimming gear and make a splash in their back garden. For parents, that means a soggy lawn and an above-average water bill — a small price to pay to see how much fun the little ones are having.
But unfortunately, it can’t be all fun and games. It’s vitally important that parents educate themselves and their children on water safety in the home. Here are some key points to keep in mind.
Top 10 Tips for Safe Paddling Pool Play
- Always supervise children
Hopefully, this one goes without saying. Parents know that kids can move at lightning speed, so even if you need to step away for a moment to check on lunch, make sure to take the kids out of the pool whilst you’re away.
Teach them that unless there’s an adult around, the paddling pool is a no-go zone. You wouldn’t leave your child alone in the bath, so why would you in the paddling pool? You should also teach yourself and your little ones basic swimming pool first aid and safety, such as:
– No jumping or diving into shallow water.
– Don’t run around the pool due to slippery surfaces.
– Never swim alone.
– Don’t jump in to save someone, use a flotation device to help them (for example rescue tubes, ring buoys, etc.).
– Have a first aid kit, including an emergency blanket, nearby.
- Check the temperature before getting in
Filling up the paddling pool with water straight from outdoor taps makes for a notoriously cold playtime. So, make it a bit easier to enjoy by adding a kettle or two of boiling water. The kids must be out of the pool when you do this to avoid any accidental burns before the hot water has mixed with the cold. Check that the temperature is comfortable before the children get in.
- Get rid of slippery surfaces
After some time spent splashing, the area around the paddling pool (whether that’s lawn, patio, or decking) is bound to get a bit slippery. Be sure to lay a towel or bath mat on the ground to prevent slips. Even better, invest in some rubber matting or an outdoor rug that you can lay down around the paddling pool.
- Keep it clean
Paddling is a summer-based activity, so if your pool has been stored away for a year, make sure that you give it a good scrub before filling it with water. A quick hose off should do the trick, but if there are any more stubborn stains or muck, use soap and water to remove them.
At the end of this summer, store it away in a sealed plastic bag to keep the dirt off it, ready for next summer. When the pool is in use, always treat and test the water often – even if you have a water pump or filter.
- Empty and refill the pool every day
If you’re wondering how long you can leave water in a paddling pool, the answer is: not for long. After playing outside all day, your kids are likely to have mucky feet. And the body’s natural oils, as well as sun cream, will also dirty the water. To keep the water safe, clean, and free from bacteria, empty it after each use and use an antibacterial spray to get rid of any nastiness.
This is only applicable if you don’t have a water filter or pump. If you do have a filter or pump, then you must maintain this equipment and keep it clean, as well as test and treat the water often. This will ensure the water stays hygienic and safe to play in.
- Don’t fill your pool too deep
For very young children (under five) the paddling pool doesn’t need to be filled more than 10 cm high — this means that there’s enough water to splash around in without it becoming too much of a risk. Older children will love to feel like they can fully relax in the water. So, even if you’re filling a larger paddling pool for the whole family to use, make sure that if your youngest child sits down in it, they’re able to have their chest and shoulders above the waterline.
- Remove debris and stray objects
Because it’s kept outdoors and is constantly exposed to the elements, all sorts of debris can end up in your paddling pool — including sharp objects like thorns, twigs, and litter. To avoid any nasty cuts and grazes, check the pool for sharp objects before filling and keep an eye out for rogue debris whilst the kids are larking.
- Get rid of insects from the water
Many creepy crawlies are attracted to paddling pools by the polarised light reflecting off the surface, as well as the pool’s bright colours. Bugs can be more than just a nuisance. Bees, wasps, hornets, and midges can sting too, so make sure they’re safely removed from the pool when you notice them. You can easily and safely remove bugs and debris from the water surface with a pool skimmer.
- Provide shade on sunny days
Before the kids venture forth for an afternoon dip, always make sure they’re wearing the appropriate clothing. Waterproof swimming costumes are the normal attire for paddling, but over the last few years, swimming shirts and shorts have become more popular for kids, as they also protect their young skin from the sun’s rays. Remember to make them wear a sun hat, too!
To provide additional protection from the heat and to avoid debris from falling into your pool, you should invest in a pool cover. These are easy to set up and store when they’re not in use and protect both the swimmers and pool against sun damage. However, the large transparent windows of the Bestway round pool dome still allow you to enjoy and see the great outdoors.
- Remember to apply sunscreen
Whatever the activity, their swimming attire, or whether or not you have a cover for your pool, kids should wear sunscreen all year round when playing in the great outdoors. For paddling pool play, use a high factor, waterproof cream to prevent sunburn. Make sure it’s reapplied regularly and that everyone takes frequent breaks in the shade to rest and rehydrate.
How to choose the perfect paddling pool for your kids
With so many different swimming and paddling pools on the market, it can be hard to find the right one for you. While the size of your garden is a big factor in the best pool for you, the reason you plan on using it will be key to making your final decision. Here is a list of some of the best paddling pools for kids.
Best paddling pool for toddlers: Bestway Rainbow and Shine Play Centre
The Bestway Rainbow and Shine Play Centre has an inflatable design, and with its interconnecting nozzle and pump, it’s easy to put up, take down, and store away when it’s not in use. Its brilliant, bright colours and fun slide that lands in the splash pool below make it an instant winner with smaller children, who will be fascinated at jumping through the rainbow arch with friends or siblings.
The pool is a generous 257cm in diameter and 91cm in height with a 170-litre capacity, so it’s just the right size for around three children to play in without it feeling too crowded. With its cushioned base and strong PVC composition, it’s built to last, which makes it great value given its low cost. It’s also not too deep, making it one of the safest options for toddlers.
Best paddling pool for shade: Bestway 8ft Splash-in Shade Play Pool
We love letting the little ones out into the garden to play, but the risks of sun exposure are always a huge concern, especially where water is involved. The Bestway 8ft Splash-in-Shade Play Pool is an excellent solution to this, giving your child a brilliant place for water play that is shaded by a fantastic UV protected sun canopy.
The canopy, which is UPF 40+ rated, helps protect kids and adults alike from the sun’s harmful rays whilst they are splashing around and having fun. If things are getting a little hot under the canopy, you can attach the hose to the water mister which gives you a refreshing light mist of cold water to cool you down.
The pool itself has a fabulous cheery design and features a strong, rust-resistant frame and heavy-duty PVC that will keep it in good shape for years to come. It is easy to fill with the garden hose and the drain valve allows simple emptying when you need to.
Best paddling pool for playtime: H2OGO! Hurricane Tunnel Blast Mega Water Park
The Hurricane Tunnel Blast Mega Water Park is the ultimate inflatable play area, making it the perfect padding pool for playtime! This paddling pool has been designed for fun and games without compromising on safety. It has been made with durable PVC as well as a secure mesh cover at the tower’s peak to prevent falls and injuries.
This paddling pool is easy to set up and takes no longer than 2 minutes but won’t fail to provide hours of fun! It consists of a water slide, a blower and a water-spraying hose, incorporating multiple elements of fun into one play area. This mega water park also comes with a repair kit to fix any unexpected damage and a storage bag to keep it in good condition when it’s not in use.
Other swimming pools
As well as the fun and fantastic options listed above, at All Round Fun, we have a wide range of swimming pools to choose from, such as:
So, whether you want to teach your little ones how to swim or spend family time relaxing in warm bubbly water, you’ll be able to find the perfect pool for your outdoor space. Alternatively, check out our full range of kids water parks and paddling pools.
Ready for some paddling pool fun?
Whether you like to splash around and play in the day or relax in a warm bubbly tub in the evening, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy good weather in the best way possible — in the great outdoors. So this year, before you let the kids loose in the garden, do a few safety checks to ensure that everything’s up to standard. It won’t take long, but it could prevent some tears!
To help you choose the right pool and answer any questions on pool maintenance, check out our in-depth swimming pool buying guide for all of the information you need.