Backyard Babysitter 7

We all remember the joy of childhood summer vacations, wiping popsicle juice from ruddy, sun-stained cheeks and the feel of itchy grass poking between our toes. But as parents, the joys of summer are met with with worries of our children in equal number: How do I keep them entertained? Which sibling will start bickering first? How can I watch them to keep them out of trouble? The answer to all these questions and more is simple, and it hearkens back to the best of our own summer days: a swimming pool.

A backyard swimming pool proved to be the best summer parenting tool for Larry Izokovic, general sales manager at Blue Haven Pools. After Izokovic built his first pool, his son and all the neighborhood kids spent the summer romping in the aqueous playscape. “From that time on,” says Izokovic, “I always knew where my son was.”

As a father, Izokovic couldn’t put a price on the supervision and subsequent peace of mind his pool provided. As a member of the Blue Haven team, he stresses this to other parents. “I’ve been telling customers ever since then, my pool in my backyard was my babysitter.”

What Izokovic means is that backyard swimming pools are a source of endless entertainment for kids, easily filling long summer days when the sun’s golden hughes stretch beyond 8 p.m. Kids are lighter and more agile; they can’t help but jump, flip, glide and somersault until their pruned fingertips go numb. “Kids love the water!” Izokovic notes. “My grandson went swimming in water that was 60 degrees. But that kid was in the pool with blue lips swimming around because he loved that pool!”

Izokovic acknowledges that all children require parental supervision while swimming, but you’re more likely to enjoy watching the kids poolside, sipping sweet lemonade, rather than carting them to and from expensive day camps. As the daunting summer heat starts to unfurl by mid-morning, parents may even want to seek refuge with a quick, chilly dip.

With kids happily splashing and socializing in a watery backyard oasis, Legos remain encased in plastic bins far from the bare feet of inattentive walkers. Dolls stay nestled in their miniature pink houses safe from the dog’s curious appetite. And beloved electronics are left by the wayside, their screens black in power-save mode. “You’re not cleaning up toys all over the house, the kids are in the pool!” Larry says. “The only thing you have to supply is a beach towel.”

Backyard pools help ensure that kids spend all those hours swimming in safe, clean water. Unlike public aquatic centers with their ominous warning signs, parents have greater visibility of goings-on in their backyard setup, plus more control over the chlorination process. Public pools often rely on harsh chemicals to shock the water, whereas families can elect for a salt-water system requiring less chlorine. The salt-water system is gentler on the eyes and skin, ideal for kids with allergies. Izokovic always recommends it in all of his proposals because even this retired Marine will admit to the softening effects the salt-water system has on skin.

Izokovic’s experience as a father, grandfather and Blue Haven expert always prompts him to tell his clients, “Your parenting skills are going to increase by a thousand percent.” Backyard swimming pools offer plenty of physical activity, socialization and parental supervision to keep kids safe during the summer hiatus. But most importantly, with kids spending more time at home, families are building lasting memories year after year.