During the summer months, when the weather gets warmer and the sunshine becomes more appealing, your family is likely to spend plenty of time by the waterside. While pool time can be a great source of entertainment, it can also be quite dangerous if you aren’t prepared or practicing proper safety.
Whether you are a pool owner and could do with a few added safety features, or prefer visiting your local community pool, every little bit of advice can help you stay out of harm’s way. Below, we’ve come up with a few ways to keep you and yours safe this summer.
Supervise Children at All Times
Kids love to run free, and have a way of finding their way into trouble, even when supervised. Sometimes kids may sneak away under your radar, or adults may miscommunicate about who is watching the children. Regardless of your vigilance, accidents can and do happen. Unfortunately, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children between the ages of 1 and 4, and half of all water related injuries happen in a residential pool. We’re often the most comfortable at home, which can cause us to drop our guard, but pool owners should never forget the danger any body of water poses for children.
Parents should also teach children never to go near a pool without an adult they trust. Even older children who know how to swim may sometimes believe they can swim on their own, without you, which can lead to tragic accidents. Make sure they know the rules, and enforce them for their own safety. Drowning is preventable!
Keep All Pools Enclosed
There are a few things you can do to keep children out of pool areas, but the easiest thing to do is to gate off your pool and make sure the gate latch is working. Pool barriers come in a variety of sizes, make sure yours is compliant with any local, county or state codes, laws or ordinances. On average, pool fences are about 4 feet in height, which provides basic guard against small children who don’t know any better.
If you attend a community pool in your neighborhood, make sure the gate is locked and that children are unable to enter. You don’t want your children out playing and entering the pool area without supervision. If the gate is broken, inform the designated authority in your community immediately so they can have it fixed.
Prevent Slips and Falls
We’ve all heard the classic call from a pool lifeguard, or perhaps seen it on TV, “don’t run by the pool!” But, this age-old advice is repeated for a reason. Pool areas are slippery, and made of concrete, so if a person slips it isn’t too uncommon to incur a serious injury, such as falling on your head. If you own a pool, you can install textured floor around the pool, as most community pools have. The added texture helps to prevent slipping and could potentially save a life. However, for the majority, the simplest solution is to tell your family and your guests not to run around the pool.
Don’t Dive Without Knowing the Depth
Sometimes pool parties can get a little rowdy, especially during summertime when a poolside drink may become 2 or 3 in the company of good friends. Always be careful about what you and your guests do around the pool, especially in regards to unsafe diving. In personal pools, adopting a no diving policy is the easiest way to dodge any chance of serious, unnecessary injury. In order to dive safely, a swimmer needs a deep body of water to sink into if they wish to avoid neck or arm injuries. Serious spinal cord injuries can result from diving accidents.
Diving accidents often happen when the diver jumps into shallow water, jarring his or her arms or neck, or incurring a serious head injury. In many cases, divers become paralyzed or receive concussions for their foolish deed. If your pool is sufficiently deep, make sure your guests know where they may dive, and where they may not, but otherwise, enforce a no-diving rule to play it safe.
Teach Children How to Swim
Starting children in the water as early as possible is the best way to ensure their safety around pools, especially if you have a swimming pool on your property. Enroll them in safety classes as babies or toddlers, and swimming lessons when they are old enough. Even infants are capable of learning how to float and hold their breath in case an accident should ever happen, and learning these skills could potentially save your child’s life.
The best way to stay safe around a pool is to prevent any accidents before they happen. Use your best judgement with poolside behavior and always teach children how to properly conduct themselves around the water to ensure their safety. Applying these tips won’t only keep you safe, they’ll make it easier for your family to enjoy a happy, healthy summer without worry.
In the event that you do have an accident by the pool, contact Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC for legal help immediately. Our personal injury lawyers can help you seek the compensation you deserve.