With summertime quickly approaching, many Americans will now be able to partake in a variety of fun activities such as swimming. Especially during extremely hot days, there is often nothing better than relaxing in the pool.
Although the swimming pool, whether it is private or public, is a great source of fun and exercise, it can also be a common setting for a devastating or even fatal accident. The CDC states nearly 3,500 drowning death accidents occur every year, most of them involving swimming pools. One in four children is killed every year in unintentional drowning accidents.
To ensure that you have an accident-free summer, the following are several tips to prevent swimming pool accidents, injuries, and deaths:
- Ensure your pool is adequately maintained. If you have a swimming pool at home, make sure it is properly maintained. This means that the pool must be regularly cleaned and cleared of debris, such as stray objects and leaves. Make sure the chlorine levels are tested for proper neutrality.
- Secure your pool. Make sure your swimming pool is enclosed on all sides with a self-latching, self-closing fence with vertical bars. Never leave furniture near the pool fence that could make climbing over possible.
- Have the proper safety equipment nearby in case of accidents. Much like public pools, private pools must also have a set of emergency safety equipment readily available, including a first aid kit, floatation devices, and reaching poles. Keep in mind, blow-up or foam toys are not considered safety devices.
- Supervise children at all times. A responsible adult needs to be watching the kids without any distractions, such as conversing with others or reading a book. If a child is in preschool or not yet confident enough in their swimming abilities, the supervising adult must always be in reach of the child. Keep kids away from areas of the pool where an injury is most likely, such as drains, pipes, and skimmers.
- Make sure at least one responsible adult knows CPR. Not only should you learn CPR, but you should also insist that the other people who have children or care for your child do, too. Getting certified is quite simple since many organizations, such as the YMCA, offer certification courses that are both affordable and flexible.
- Keep the pool area clear of toys. Always put away toys that are not being used. Children may be tempted to enter the area unsupervised to play with toys and ultimately fall into the pool.
- Do not consume too much alcohol. Swimming while under the influence can be just as hazardous as operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
- Avoid the water during thunderstorms. As soon as you hear thunder or see lightning, you must be out of the water for at least 30 minutes.
- Set rules. Communicate with children about the dangers found in swimming pools. Set rules against running or roughhousing. Additionally, you should employ precautions, such as buddy systems, which can prepare kids for the worst.
By following these tips, you will be much safer and much more likely to enjoy swimming in the summertime. Unfortunately, some pool accidents you just cannot avoid.
Although many swimming pool accidents are not caused by another person, sometimes these accidents can be the result of someone else’s negligence. For example, a lifeguard may be liable for failing to pay attention to the swimmers he or she is supposed to supervise or a pool management company may be liable for injuries caused by a diving board that is not properly installed.