Everyone can take precautions to help prevent drownings, illness, injuries, and other child swimming pool accidents. Remember these tips the next time you head to the pool:
Tips for Parents
- Constantly supervise your children without distractions. When your child is in or near the water, do not read or use electronic devices like your cell phone or tablet. In many cases, a child will be unable to tell you he is having trouble swimming. If the entirety of your attention is not on your child, catastrophe could strike in a second.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages while watching your child at the pool. You should also be facing your child at all times. Always be within reach of a young child in the water.
- All young children, inexperienced or weak swimmers, and non-swimmers should wear Coast Guard-approved life vests at all times, both when in or near the water. Do not rely on pool toys or “water wings” to prevent drowning.
- Take your children for swimming lessons at an early age.
Tips for Home Swimming Pools
- When you have a swimming pool at your home, you must be on guard for the people you would expect to use your pool, such as members of your household and invited guests. You must also prepare for trespassers who might sneak into your pool without your knowledge or permission:
- To keep out trespassers, neighborhood animals, and children who might wander into your yard, make sure that your swimming pool is surrounded on all sides by either barriers or fences. These structures should have self-latching locks on all the gates. The latches should not be accessible from the outside of the fence or barrier.
- Remove access to the pool when you are not able to supervise its use. For an above-ground pool, you can remove ladders and other points of entry.
- Cover your pool with a safety cover when the pool is not in use for an extended time. When you are going out of town or closing the pool for the season, use a cover that prevents people from getting into the water.
- Either use a reputable pool service or closely monitor and adjust your pool chemicals to prevent contaminated water from injuring your pool guests. If the chemicals are too concentrated, they can cause burns to the eyes and skin. Insufficient chemicals will not keep the water sanitary.
- Never allow children to be near the pool without adult supervision. Around ten people a day drown in America, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and many times that number suffer submersion injuries (also called near drownings), which can cause irreversible brain damage from the lack of oxygen. It only takes a couple of minutes for a child to drown or suffer brain damage in a pool.
- Post pool rules to warn people about dangerous activities, such as running, horseplay, diving or jumping into the pool, or swimming alone.
- Warn guests about the locations of the pool drains and the injuries that the suction of a pool drain can cause. If a person’s clothing, long hair, jewelry, or a body part gets trapped in the drain, the person can be caught underwater and drown.
Safety Tips for Public Pools
This category can include neighborhood or club pools, hotel pools, and water parks, and any pool that is not private.
How the Owner Can Keep Guests Safe
- Create and post pool rules such as:
- Swim with a buddy, not alone.
- A responsible adult must accompany children under 14.
- No running or horseplay in or around the pool.
- No one can consume alcohol at the pool.
- No one with an infectious disease or who has experienced diarrhea within the last 14 days may swim in the pool.
- No diving or jumping into the pool.
- Lock the gates to the pool when there is no lifeguard present.
- Post warnings about the pool drains.
- Remove electrical hazards that could cause shock or electrocution.
How Parents Can Keep Their Children Safe when at Public Pools
- In addition to following all the safety rules in earlier sections of this article, you should not rely on other guests or your children’s friends to watch over them at a public pool. Know where your child is at all times, regardless of his swimming proficiency.
- Set a good example. Follow and enforce pool rules.
You can significantly reduce the risk of injury to your children at swimming pools by following these safety tips. However, if you or a loved one suffered a swimming pool injury that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. to discuss your situation for free: 404-474-0804.