When considering throwing a pool party, having an organized plan will take the worry out of the event.

First, check that your pool is sparkling clean and chemically treated to remove harmful bacteria. There is a harmful type of organism called Cryptosporidium that can cause gastric illness or even death. If you are not sure how to clean your pool, consider having a professional pool maintenance company to come in and treat your pool to ensure it is sanitized and has the right Ph balance.

Once you know your pool is properly maintained, you can get to the fun stuff. Invitations should be friendly and entertaining, but also serve as an informational notice about the party. Clearly specify if children are allowed and if so, the parents are expected to supervise their children at all times, even if a lifeguard is hired for the event. To avoid the spread of disease carried by fecal matter, do not let children in diapers or those not toilet trained into the pool.

If you wish to hire a lifeguard for your event, be sure to get someone certified. You can check with your local parks and recreation department to find a skilled professional. Keep in mind that other than saving lives and supervising behavior in the water, this person is not a babysitter. Put up signs to remind young guests not to run on pool patio or engage in rough horseplay. Diving is not a good idea in an average household pool, as gauging depth is tricky and severe injuries can occur.

If you are serving alcohol, you can come up with a simple, signature drink and serve it in pitchers to avoid being the bartender. Be sure to keep plenty of water on hand as well as non-alcoholic beverages for guests who don’t drink alcohol, and to space between alcoholic drinks as alcohol is dehydrating. Be sure your guests are not “overserved” and be prepared to arrange a ride home for anyone who ends up not fit to drive.

Put up festive umbrellas over the guest tables to provide shade. You should also have small ice packs or ice wrapped in towels for guests to apply to their wrists to bring down their temperature.

The menu should be tasty yet simple. Finger foods are easy to handle, and you can provide a versatile selection of meat and vegetarian offerings to please all of your guests. Avoid foods with mayonnaise, as it easily spoils in the sun. Do not allow glass containers, bowls or plates in the pool area. Plastic cups, plates, and cutlery not only ensure safety but will also make clean up a breeze.

Have a clean, comfortable, private area for guests to use as a changing room. Having a shower area is important as chlorine can be irritating to skin and hair. Keeping a bottle of shampoo and hair conditioner on hand ensures your guests will be able to feel clean and refreshed after a day of sun and swimming.