Swimming pools offer a refreshing escape from the summer heat and are a popular source of fun and relaxation for people of all ages. However, they also pose a serious and potentially deadly risk if proper safety measures are not taken.
As home and public pools open for the season, now is a good time to review how to stay safe this summer. Let’s delve into the top causes of pool accidents, common pool accident injuries, and crucial pool safety tips to help you enjoy the pool without fear of an accident.
By following the guidelines set out by safety experts and staying vigilant, we can reduce the number of pool accidents and keep our loved ones safe while enjoying this favorite summer activity.
Top Causes of Pool Accidents
While many people enjoy spending time poolside or in the water, it is important to be aware of the potential hazards and take steps to mitigate the risk of accidents.
Here are some of the top causes of pool accidents and how to avoid them:
Lack of Supervision: One of the most common causes of swimming pool accidents is a lack of supervision. In many cases, children are left unattended near the pool, leaving them at risk of drowning or suffering injuries. It is essential that parents or guardians always supervise children in and around the pool. Adults should also avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while supervising children, as this can impair their judgment and reaction time.
Lack of Pool Barriers: Another common cause of pool accidents is a lack of barriers around the pool. Without proper fencing, gates, or pool covers, small children and pets can gain access to the pool and fall in, leading to incidents of drowning or serious injury.
Slippery Surfaces: Wet surfaces around the pool can be slippery, leading to slip-and-fall accidents.
Improper Maintenance: Poor maintenance can lead to pool accidents, particularly if pool equipment such as pumps, drains, or filters are not functioning correctly. It is necessary to have a regular maintenance schedule, including cleaning and inspections, to ensure that the pool is working correctly and is safe to use.
Diving Accidents: Finally, accidents can occur when swimmers dive into shallow water, leading to traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord damage. It is critical to ensure that the pool is deep enough for diving and that diving is only allowed in areas that are designated for it.
Swimming pool safety requires constant attention and diligence. Accidents can happen in seconds around a pool or hot tub. If you or someone you know was injured in a pool accident because of the negligence of someone else, you have the right to pursue a personal injury case. Before talking to an insurance company, contact an attorney to understand your rights.
Common Pool Accident Injuries
Swimming pool and hot tub accidents can be disastrous and life-altering events, often resulting in permanent injuries, expensive medical bills, or even fatalities. Whether it’s due to slipping and falling, accidental drowning, or coming into contact with dangerous chemicals, there are a number of hazards to be aware of when spending time in or around a pool or hot tub.
The most prevalent swimming pool accident injuries include:
Head and Back Injuries
Head and back injuries are a top concern in swimming pool and hot tub accidents. Swimmers may experience a head injury or brain trauma when diving in the shallow end of a pool. This can be very serious especially if the swimmer loses consciousness while underwater.
Slick surfaces around a pool or hot tub can also lead to head and neck injuries. Wet tiles or concrete can become slippery, and uneven surfaces can cause trips and falls. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 200,000 Americans are treated in emergency rooms each year due to injuries related to pool and hot tub slips and falls.
Chemicals used to maintain the cleanliness of pool and hot tub water can also pose a risk of injury. Chlorine is commonly used to disinfect pool and hot tub water, but if not handled properly, it can cause skin irritation, respiratory issues, and even blindness. To minimize the risk of chemical-related injuries, it’s important to always wear gloves, goggles, and other protective gear when handling substances, read and follow all label instructions, and store chemicals in a dry, well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight.
Unfortunately, drowning is a real risk, especially for little ones, in pools and hot tubs. Whether it’s due to improper supervision of children, poor swimming skills, or equipment malfunction, drowning can occur quickly and silently. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths for young children.
Pool Safety Tips
Whether you are hosting friends at your home pool, visiting the local public pool, or swimming at a friend or family member’s house, it is in your best interest to look after your safety and take reasonable care before entering a swimming pool.
Here are some safety tips you should follow to avoid an accident:
Learn Basic Water Safety and Swimming Skills: Formal swimming lessons help reduce the risk of drowning. Young swimmers should always wear a life vest. Pool toys like floaties are not good substitutes for a life jacket.
Supervise Children: There should always be adult supervision whenever anyone is in the pool, especially if it’s a child. Children should never be left alone to swim by themselves, even if they have had formal swimming lessons. Adults supervising the pool should not be distracted by mobile phones, reading, or socializing with others.
Ensure the Pool is Secure: Make sure the pool area is secured with a fence and a self-locking gate, especially if there are young children around. For pool owners, even if you don’t have children living in your house, you could have visitors who do, and the best way to prevent any accidents is to have a secure fence or barrier around your pool.
Learn CPR: In the event of an accident, the first few seconds are critical, and knowing CPR could mean the difference between life and death. Emergency services may take time to arrive, and knowing how to perform CPR in the meantime could prove lifesaving.
Designate a Sober Pool Watcher: Avoid consuming alcohol while swimming. Alcohol impairs judgment, reduces coordination, and slows down reaction times, making it a serious risk factor in and around the pool. There should always be a sober supervisor at a pool party or gathering.
Pool safety is everyone’s responsibility! Do your part to make sure your pool is safe for others, and if you are visiting a pool, make sure you are following these safety tips to keep swimmers safe! Pools, spas, and hot tubs are fun – let’s make sure they are also safe!
Pool Accident Personal Injury Attorneys in Lancaster, Pa.
At Georgelis, Larsen & Sabatino Injury Law Firm, P.C., we’ve been representing accident victims in Lancaster and the region for decades. We can help alleviate the financial and other burdens of an accident and resultant injuries by making sure the injured individual and their family are fully compensated for their losses in a timely manner.
Swimming accidents often result in severe injuries and, sometimes, even fatalities. Let us help you navigate the legal system. Our attorneys and paralegals know the intricacies of personal injury claims, and we have been taking care of the good people of Lancaster for many years. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation review of your case. We are available 24/7 online or by calling 1-800-HURT-NOW. We never charge a fee for our time and are only compensated when we win your case.