Cooling off by the water's edge on a hot day may be your idea of a perfect afternoon, but make sure you and your family know what it takes to stay safe by the pool this summer. Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for young children, with roughly 390 drowning in pools in the U.S. each year, according to the U.S. government's website, Pool Safety.
Whether you have small children or not, implementing safe practices by the poolside can help ensure you make lasting memories this summer for all the right reasons.
Enclose Pool Areas
All pool areas should be enclosed to better protect children from accidental drowning incidents, or other injuries like slip-and-falls. If you are a pool owner, make sure you have a fence around your pool and that it is sturdy enough to keep out children without the assistance of an adult. Or, instead of a fence, some pool owners may opt for hard pool covers that enclose the pool, sometimes even turning it into a deck.
If you do not own a pool, make sure the community pools or city pools in your areas are also enclosed for the safety of your children, or the children in your neighborhood. Should you find a pool that is not properly enclosed, contact the appropriate authority, like the city or community property manager, and ask that the fence or enclosure be repaired immediately.
Prevent Slip-and-Fall Injuries
Children and adults alike should never run in a pool area. The water from the pool often makes the pavement slick and slippery, which can easily cause dangerous falls. Always walk when you are by the pool, and encourage your children and friends to do the same. If you own a pool, you may also wish to provide additional safety measures by installing a textured floor around the pool to help prevent slipperiness.
Swimmers should never dive into shallow water because it can lead to serious, even life-threatening injuries. A diver could hit the bottom of the pool and injure his or her arms, wrists or shoulders, or they may hit their head, causing a traumatic brain injury or spinal damage. Most residential pools are more shallow and not deep enough to dive into safely, so the best practice is to evoke a "no diving" policy. While some deeper pools do allow for safe diving, even then only practiced divers should make the attempt.
Keep Children Under Supervision
Accidents can and do happen, and children should never be left unsupervised by a pool under any circumstances. Even children who are excellent swimmers should never be allowed to be by a pool alone because anything could happen and if nobody is there to help them in the event of an emergency, a simple fall could turn deadly. Younger children or kids who are not good swimmers should either be in the pool with an adult who can help them learn to swim proficiently, or they should be wearing a flotation device.
Learn to Swim
One of the best ways to stay safe around the pool is to make sure everyone knows how to swim. Start children in swim lessons at an early age and make sure they are comfortable holding their breath and jumping into the pool. By making children acclimate to the water, you can help them be less likely to panic if they accidentally fall into a pool, lake, river, or another body of water. Teaching children to float on their backs, hold their breath under water, and to keep calm are key to avoiding drowning incidents. If you or any adult friends have never learned to swim, try looking into an adult swim class. Most cities offer these courses and also provide safety training in the event of a water-related emergency.
Do what you can to keep yourself and your family safe this summer by implementing these safety tips and tricks. Our legal team at the Law Office of Pamela C. Bratcher hopes you and yours stay out of harm's way, but in the event you and a loved one should find yourself hurt, we encourage you to call us. If you suffered an injury because of the carelessness of a pool owner or faulty pool product, a Bowling Green personal injury attorney from our firm can help you take legal action and pursue compensation for damages.
Contact Law Office of Pamela C. Bratcher for a case evaluation in Bowling Green, KY.