With summer comes playtime and relaxation, including fun at the pool. However, danger can lurk in the water, whether it is at a public or private pool. Learn more about common causes of swimming pool accidents and how you can avoid them.
Common Causes of Swimming Pool Accidents
- Lack of supervision. Children should always be supervised by an attentive adult who knows how to perform CPR. Following this one rule could save thousands of lives every year. Lack of supervision can lead to drownings or near drownings.
- Slipping on walkways and decks can result in fractures, lacerations, and head injuries.
- Sliding off ladders, diving boards, and slides. Practice smart pool safety when on ladders and diving boards, and do not allow horseplay on them.
- Striking the sides or bottom of the pool when sliding or diving, due to insufficient water depth or misjudging the depth of the dive or slide.
- Nearby electrical hazards. The primary causes of shock or electrocution in or around swimming pools are underwater lights, electrical extension and power cords, electrical outlets and switches, pool equipment (like the pump, vacuum, and filters), overhead power lines, and electrical products like radios, stereos, and televisions.
- Contaminated pool water. Several things can make pool water dangerous. If the pool chemicals are inadequate, bacteria and viruses can grow in the pool water. If a person who is sick or recently has been sick swims in a pool, he can spread illness and infection to others. E.coli, Legionnaire’s disease, parasites, and norovirus are just a few examples of health conditions you can contract in contaminated pool water. Excessive chemical use can cause burns to the skin and eyes.
- Dangerous drains. If you have an older pool, consider replacing the drains with new, compliant drains to prevent injuries and drownings. The suction in some drains is strong enough to trap clothing, jewelry, long hair, and body parts, which can cause a person to drown while unable to get away from the pull of the drain. If the drain cover is broken or missing, replace it immediately.
How Can You Prevent Swimming Pool Accidents?
The National Safety Council offers these safety tips to help you avoid accidents and injuries in and around swimming pools:
- Children should never be alone in or near a pool. A child can lose consciousness within two minutes of going under water.
- Children should only be allowed in or near a pool when there is an adult who knows CPR and is supervising and devoting his full attention to the children. Within four to six minutes of being under water, a child can suffer irreversible brain damage from lack of oxygen.
- Do not let children or adults play around older pool drains.
- Do not let water collect around a pool, and do not allow people to run or engage in horseplay around the pool.
- Everyone in a household with a pool should learn CPR, water rescue techniques, and first aid.
- To avoid diving injuries, consider removing the diving board or slide, to prevent head or spinal cord injuries that could be fatal or cause permanent paralysis.
- Ensure that the pool chemicals are correctly balanced. Out-of-balance chemicals can cause chemical burns or fail to sanitize the water.
- Make sure the pool has barriers or fencing on all sides, with self-closing gates that latch. This can prevent children from suffering injuries in a pool accident.
- Take swimming lessons if you do not know how to swim or need a refresher.
- Keep rescue equipment and first aid supplies on hand. Make sure you have a rescue hook handy.
- Consider installing alarms on the gates that lead to the pool, and an alarm that can notify you that someone is in the pool.
- Make house rules against running and other horseplay near the pool.
We hope this information helps you to avoid a swimming pool injury or tragedy, but no matter how careful one is, accidents can still happen. If you suffer a pool injury that was someone else’s fault, please contact the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. We will evaluate your claim at no cost to you.
To schedule your free, no-obligation consultation, give us a call at 404-474-0804 today.