Swimming pools can be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, if you’re not careful, swimming pools can also be dangerous.
In fact, in the summer of 2018 alone, at least 148 children younger than 15 drowned in swimming pools and spas.
The good news is, these types of pool accidents are 100 percent preventable if you have the right safety precautions in place.
Check out this guide to discover the most common types of swimming pool accidents and how to avoid them.
Submersion and Drowning
When it comes to drowning accidents, near-drowning deaths, and submersion accidents, children are always at the highest risk.
However, adults are at risk of drowning deaths too. Even if you know how to swim, hitting your head on something and losing consciousness can cause a drowning accident. Luckily, there’s plenty that you can do to prevent drowning accidents. This includes:
- Learn how to do CPR
- Never leave children unsupervised near water, even if it’s shallow water
- Teach your children how to swim (most children can learn to swim around the age of 4)
- Avoid mixing alcohol and swimming
- Have a phone near you in case of emergency
- Use “touch supervision” around your swimming children, which means you should always be within an arm’s length
- Make sure your swimming pool is separate from the play area of your yard
- Install a childproof fence around your pool
- Have rescue equipment, such as a life preserver, handy
- Remove toys from the pool so your child doesn’t fall in the water trying to retrieve something
- Install alarms, but remember that this isn’t a substitute for fencing
- Don’t allow your child to sit or play near pool or hot tub drains
Also, make sure you follow local pool safety ordinances to keep everyone safe.
Diving injuries are also very common. These injuries occur when people jump headfirst into the pool, and often in areas that are too shallow for diving. This can subsequently lead to serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries.
If someone hits their head in a diving accident, then it’s very important that you have them seek out a professional medical evaluation. It’s sometimes difficult to tell right away whether a traumatic brain injury has occurred, but these head injuries can quickly develop into something serious.
Additionally, here are some things you can do to prevent diving injuries:
- Make sure that only one person is using the diving board/diving area at a time
- Plan your dive path and ensure it’s free of obstructions
- Keep your dives simple (most backyard pools aren’t built for “fancy” diving)
- Take diving lessons and encourage other pool users to do the same
- Ensure that the depth and shape of your pool is suitable for diving
- Place warning signs in areas that aren’t suitable for diving
- Don’t allow diving in an above-ground pool
- Never dive alone
- Don’t allow horseplay around diving equipment
- Don’t dive through pool toys, such as innertubes
- Avoid diving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
When you follow these diving tips, you’ll be able to stay safe and still impress your friends!
Slip and Falls
The area surrounding the pool can be very wet and often contains many tripping hazards. Because of this, slip and fall accidents around pools tend to be very common.
Obviously, we know that you should avoid running around the pool area at all times.
Here are some other things you can do to prevent slip and fall accidents around the pool:
- Cover poolside walkways with non-slip surface coverings and make sure they have adequate traction
- Place warning signs around your pool to remind guests of potential hazards
- Place handrails in dangerous areas, especially if there are elderly persons using your pool
- Make sure the area surrounding the pool is free of any tripping hazards
- Have a designated bin for pool toys and floaties
- Encourage everyone to wear flip flops with nonskid soles when they’re poolside
- Have a first aid kit as well as cell phone handy in case of an accident
Also, keep in mind that when the ground shifts, it can make the decking uneven and cause a tripping hazard. For this reason, you may need to remove and re-level your decking in order to prevent slip and fall accidents.
While less common, injuries can result from an unsafe pool product. Some of these products can cause injuries themselves, while others can increase the risk of drowning.
This type of risk is especially true for pool cleaning equipment, inflatable toys, and any other product that naturally restricts the swimmer in some kind of way.
There are also risks involved with unsafe drains and jets. All product manufacturers are legally required to ensure the safety of their products, and they’re required to warn of any potential risks to consumers.
If a product is defective and in some way causes harm to an individual, many times, the manufacturer is held liable. Here are some things to keep in mind to help prevent product injuries:
- Remember that many swimming pool toys can serve as choking hazards
- Air-filled pool toys such as floaties and inner tubes are not meant to be used in place of personal flotation devices (life jackets, swim vests, etc)
- Inflatable toys can flip and capsize while your child is using them, so always keep yourself within an arm’s length
By keeping these things in mind, you’ll be able to keep your family safe around these products.
Types of Pool Accidents: Time to Put This Info to Action
As you can see, there are many different types of pool accidents that can occur. However, if you put these safety tips into action, you and your family should have a fun and safe pool season!
If you’re still in the process of shopping for a new pool, get in touch with us today.