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Wear a One-Piece and Pack a Lunch: A Water Park Survival Guide

Jul 12, 2019

Authored by Emlerswim

When the summer sun is beating down on you and your kids have entirely too much pent-up energy, there may be no better prescription than a family day at the water park. Master the scene correctly, and you’ll make some memories – plus you’ll wear the kiddos out and guarantee a good night’s sleep.

But water parks can also be stressful, especially with little ones in tow. Here’s what you need to do to keep your family safe and sane during a water park outing:

  • Do your research. If you have children of varying ages, make sure the park has something for everyone – or risk having a rough time keeping everyone entertained that day.
  • Know CPR. Before heading out to a water park, be sure you are up to date on your CPR skills. This is a skill that you hope you never have to put into use but is invaluable to know.
  • Pack a lunch. If the location allows it, bring your own food and drinks with you. Save time and money by bringing your family’s fave snacks so you know everyone will be satisfied. Make sure everyone drinks a lot of water as well because swimming all day is exhausting. (That means you, too!)
  • Take what you need. Don’t rely on the waterpark to have supplies you might need: towels, diapers (regular and reusable swim diapers), wipes, sunscreen, hats, U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket, and dry clothes for the ride home.
  • Protect your stuff. Rent a locker for your valuables, or bring a waterproof carrying case for your phone and wallet. Don’t leave valuables out of sight while you are enjoying the water.
  • Skip the bikini this time. We recommend one-piece bathing suits for the ladies. If you’re running around chasing the kids – or if you plan on riding any water slides – one-piece suits are more likely to save you from any wardrobe malfunctions.
  • Get there early. The earlier you arrive, it will be easier for you to find parking and find seating for your family. Plus, a less-crowded pool is a lot more fun. (If you can swing it, visit the park on a weekday instead of a weekend or a holiday; it’ll be much easier to watch out for your kids.)
  • Take breaks. Be sure the entire family takes regular bathroom breaks! This is also a great time to have a quick snack & drink break. Swimming all day can be very tiring, and taking regular breaks will help everyone stay refreshed.
  • Set the ground rules. Make sure your family has a designated meeting spot in case anyone gets separated, and make sure that everyone has a buddy. Nobody should ever wander off to play in water alone.
  • Keep away from the drains. Hair can become easily stuck to drains in pools. It’s best to teach kids to never play near the drains.
  • Look for lifeguards. Make sure the park has enough lifeguards on duty. Always remember to designate your own Water Watcher for your family. Lifeguards are wonderful, but they have a big area to keep watch over; making sure an adult in your family is watching out for your little ones adds another layer of safety.

Most importantly, make sure your children know how to swim. It’s never too early to teach your child how to stay safe around the water. Stay prepared for an emergency by learning CPR, and never taking your eyes off the water – drownings can happen quickly and silently.

A boy coming out of a yellow slide into a pool