It may be Fall, but people still have fun in the sun, especially on the West Coast. These days, many people have easy access to swimming pools and hot tubs– whether it’s in their condo building, at their local YMCA, or even in their own backyard.
Adults and children alike love a dip in the pool or a good old-fashioned pool party year-round, which is why it is important to be vigilant regarding pool safety. Pool safety is important year-round; not just during those summer months. Even if you’re not necessarily using the pool, a swimming pool accident can still occur. Swimming pool accidents can sometimes happen if you’re hosting people in your backyard or if a neighborhood kid wanders into your yard—and you might still be liable for that kid’s injuries, even if they were trespassing!
Swimming Injury Statistics
Swimming pool accidents can be serious—they can even result in death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2005 and 2014 there was an average of 3,536 fatal non-boating related unintentional drownings. About 1 in 5 of these deaths are children 14 and younger.
More than half of drowning victims end up needing emergency or hospital care. Non-fatal drowning injuries can result in serious injuries including long-lasting brain damage.
There are many reasons for swimming pool related accidents or injuries. Below is a list of the most common causes of swimming pool accidents.
Common Causes of Swimming Pool Accidents
Here are some of the most common causes of swimming pool accidents. Please review this list so that you are aware of the risks!
Alcohol can impede judgement and coordination, which can be dangerous and possibly lethal around pools. According to the CDC, up to 70% of deaths associated with water recreation is connected to alcohol use.
Check all of your equipment on a regular basis to prevent injuries. A broken pool ladder or diving board could cause a very serious injury. Even a defective railing going into the pool could also cause someone to hurt themselves.
Sometimes if the area around the pool is damaged—like missing tiles, or cracked concrete—this can cause injury or increase the risk of drowning. If the tile that marks pool depth is missing, a child might accidentally swim into the deep end. If the floor is cracked, someone could slip and fall.
Keep electronics away from the pool! The use of stereo equipment, or an electric stove, or anything else that uses electricity, can be deadly when mixed with water. When water and electricity mix, the risk of electrocution increases.
Lack of, or Damaged Barriers
It is important to have barriers around the pool. Consider four-sided fencing, which keeps the pool separate from the house or yard. This is especially important around young children to keep them safe from accidental drowning.
Lack of Safety Equipment
It is also important to have safety equipment on hand, such as life jackets or flotation devices, as they can be life-saving in a serious situation.
Lack of Supervision
Don’t leave your child unattended. Many public pools will have trained lifeguards, but during off-seasons, or after hours, a lifeguard may not be present. Most apartment building and condo swimming pools do not have lifeguards at all. This lack of supervision can be particularly dangerous when children are around. Even if it’s just for 5 minutes, never leave a child unattended around a pool.
Lack of Swimming Ability
A surprising number of adults and children lack swimming ability or don’t know how to swim at all. People who receive swimming lessons are statistically less likely to drown or suffer a swimming related injury.
You may be able to find a free Pool Safety Class. The YMCA in Las Vegas offer a free “Safety Around Water” class that is FREE to participants. It is open to anyone in the community who wants their children to learn how to be safe in and around water.
If a pool is overcrowded, a parent or caregiver will have a harder time supervising their loved ones. Even a trained lifeguard will have a much harder time performing their duties because it would be harder to spot someone in danger among so many swimmers.
Safety Tips to Prevent Swimming Pool Accidents
The good news is you don’t have to be a statistic. There are safety precautions you can take to prevent swimming pool injuries and fatalities. Government websites like the CDC and PoolSafely.gov are great resources for pool safety.
Install safety alarms around pool gates, doors, or windows to warn you if your child is near or headed towards the pool.
Learn CPR and stay up to date with CPR training to be prepared for emergencies.
Keep the area around the pool clean of any spills or messes to avoid accidental slips and falls. If there is a spill, make sure to clean it up right away.
Completely fence in your pool on all four sides to separate the pool from the yard, and use self-latching self-closing latches that open outward towards gates. Make sure the fence or gate is at least 4 feet tall.
Add safety pool and spa covers with locks to prevent accidents when the pool or hot tub is not in use.
Pool Safety Tool-Kit
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends having a pool safety tool-kit nearby, which includes a first aid kit, scissors to cut hair or clothing, a charged portable phone to call 911, and a life-saving flotation device.
Regular Pool Maintenance
Make sure to keep all your pool equipment in working order and have a professional pool inspector inspect your pool every year for physical condition, safety equipment, and water quality.
Remove Pool Toys
Remove all pool toys and floats when not in use to prevent children from temptation and playing with them when adults are not present to supervise.
Safety Drain Covers
Add safety drain covers to prevent children from getting trapped or stuck in pool pipes, drains and other openings.
Do not swim alone. Always closely supervise children when they are in or near the pool, even if they are a strong swimmer or playing in shallow water like a hot tub. When supervising children, make sure to avoid distractions like talking on the phone, reading a book or working on a laptop, as accidents can happen very suddenly. Never supervise children when under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Learn the basics of swimming like floating and moving through the water. Get swimming lessons for anyone in your family who does not know how to swim. If you have children, start them early with professional lessons or learning the basics of swimming.
Experienced Las Vegas, NV Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or a family member has been injured in a swimming pool accident or any other personal injury accident, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you protect your rights and make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.