Spring of 2018 has finally arrived and it comes with a reminder of the importance of pool safety. Charleston pools will soon be filling with those seeking refuge from the rising temperatures. With the heat, the fun of pool play should also come with a safety reminder.
Most people going for a swim don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the risks. However, in 2018, people are going to be injured and even killed during a day in the water.
What Should I Know about Pool Safety Risks?
Before you get ready to take your kids for a day in the pool, consider these facts.
- An average of 10 people die from accidental drowning every day
- More than 3,500 people die every year
- 20% of drowning victims are under the age of 14 years old
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) maintains a pool safety page with a variety of resources for education and prevention. These statistics from their page should be a sobering reminder of the risks swimming can bring.
How do I Keep Kids Safe in the Pool?
One website dedicated to everything “pools” recently updated their swimming safety blog. Poolonomics.com added a number of points about key practices to keep everyone safe. Given that children are a precious resource, they’re first on the list when it comes to pool safety.
1. Teach Kids to Swim as Soon as Possible
At the Hartman Law Firm, we believe pool safety is paramount for protecting your kids. Follow our step-by-step guide to keep your kids safe and sound.
“…get your children into the pool with you and teach them how to swim as quickly as they can learn,” says Poolonomics. “When around water in general, they’ll always be able to swim away from danger.”
The simple ability to stay afloat and get to safety is the first factor when it comes to kid’s protection. It’s important to stress that this isn’t just about telling kids. You have to practice what you preach, or your children may decide that they don’t have to listen.
It’s also very important to teach everything possible about pool safety. Therefore, make sure to cover the following points:
- No running around the pool area. Anyone who has gone swimming as a kid should know this one. It’s almost always yelled by the lifeguard or a watchful adult.
- Running is dangerous because of the possibility of slipping and falling. In one case, someone can fall and hit their head, seriously injuring themself. To add insult to injury, falling into the pool water with a head injury can lead to drowning.
- Don’t play near pool drains. In one very tragic instance, a 6-year-old girl was seriously injured when the suction from a pool drain pulled a portion of her intestines out. This is a gruesome example of the power of pumping water. It may seem “neat” to feel the water being pulled through the drain cover. Regardless of this fact, children should never go near them.
- Diving head first into a pool is dangerous. Children often don’t understand how fast they’re moving when they jump into the water. They can hit their head on the bottom of the pool, which can create several scenarios for tragedy.
- The force of impact from diving into a pool can cause head trauma, neck and spine injuries, cuts and abrasions, and, possibly most terrifying, unconsciousness. Of course, if you’re unconscious in the water, your chances of drowning are very high.
- Children that aren’t strong swimmers should stay in the shallow end of the pool. Teach kids that they have just as much fun in the shallow end as the deep end.
- One great strategy for encouraging kids to stay in the shallow end is providing fun activities. If they can play and have fun, they won’t be as tempted to go for the deeper waters. Here are some fun shallow water activity suggestions from icebreakerideas.com.
- Swimming races across the shallow end
- Diving for water toys with a pair of goggles
- Water balloon fights
- Pool tag
- The Invisible Bottle game
- Find more at the link above
- Teach your children to pay attention to their surroundings while swimming. Public pools are most likely going to be full of plenty of other people. Courtesy and respect are important to keeping a safe, fun and happy atmosphere.
- Speaking of their surroundings, kids should also know that if they have a bad feeling about the pool, or the surrounding area, they should trust their instincts. It’s better to miss a day of swimming than get caught up in a tragic situation.
- Part of being aware of surroundings also means keeping an eye out for others in need. Children should know to tell an adult immediately if they see something amiss in the water. It can take less than a minute for someone to drown. That’s not a lot of time to pull them from the water and perform first aid.
Remind younger children that the kids who learn how to swim sooner have more fun. Encourage them to work hard on passing their swim classes and practicing their swimming techniques while in the pool. The sooner they learn how to swim at an “expert” level, the sooner they can join their friends.
2.Encourage Your Teen to Learn to be a Lifeguard
- Young adults with lifeguard and first aid skills make the whole pool a safer place. Qualified lifeguards are essentially on standby while they’re in the pool.
- Most teens want to find a job when they come of age. Lifeguarding is not only a valuable skill set for this age group to offer, but some jobs pay up to $16 per hour. That may not sound like much to some people. For a teenager, this is a great paycheck.
- Having the extra confidence to know that they’re trained for an emergency helps these young adults with self esteem.
- It provides positive reinforcement for young adult’s self awareness and gives everyone a better pool experience. As poolonomics puts it, “[young adults] feel part of something important and a valued member of society.”
If you really want to get invested in pool safety, teach your kids, teens, and yourself, to take the CPSC Pool Safety Pledge.
3. Lead by Example and Learn to Save Lives in the Pool
Adults who want to prevent swimming pool injuries should practice what they preach. Don’t just put the burden on your kids and hope things go well. Be part of the prevention solution yourself.
Lifeguard and swimming classes in Charleston are fun, educational, and usually low-cost. This small investment in learning can save money and time in the future. To be truly effective at emergency care in the water, here are the most important skills you should know:
- How to watch the area and identify someone in distress
- Rescue procedures for retrieving a drowning, or drowned, person
- Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
- Automated External Defibrillator (AED) use and safety
- First aid for common injuries, including drowning, head, neck and spine injuries, cuts, scrapes, and more
4. If You Own a Pool, You’re Responsible for Keeping it Safe
Charleston, South Carolina pools should always be well maintained. Be sure that they’re secured from small children, and have a great Summer!
Liability for swimming accident injuries falls on the owner, more often than not. Whether your pool is in use, or empty, you should always take measures to keep it safe. To do this, the following safety prevention rules should be followed:
- There should always be a fence around the pool. It should have a reliable gate and there shouldn’t be any gaps that a young child can fit through.
- The gate should always remain closed and locked. By keeping everyone out and maintaining an obvious barrier, you’re telling everyone around to keep out.
- An alarm should be installed to notify you that someone has breached the pool area perimeter. Today’s modern technology will even allow you to monitor it on your smartphone when you’re out of town. That’s just a no-brainer.
- The pool should be covered during periods without use. The covering should be safe and durable. This protects people, and also the water and equipment, which can get clogged with debris.
What Injuries Happen in Swimming Pools the Most?
As the saying goes, “It’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt.” Pool safety is about saving lives and preventing injuries. Liability falls on any responsible party that is negligent of swimming area safety.
Many of the common causes of swimming-related accidents are avoidable. They can include:
- Missing signage alerting users to hazards, and water depths. This includes notification when there are no lifeguards present.
- Defective or below-standard equipment for pool cleaning and safety
- Pool decks that are excessively slippery
- Failure to properly maintain the pool conditions
- Pool water with debris or similar objects in the water
- Lack of proper pool maintenance
- Unsecured pool areas with unrestricted access
Remember: pool safety is everyone’s responsibility. Take action and be prepared to lend a hand, when it’s needed.
To learn more about pool safety, and just pools in general, poolonomics.com offers a whole array of articles and information on the subject.
Can I Get Financial Compensation for a Swimming Pool Injury?
If someone is injured while swimming, they may be entitled to significant financial compensation. The consequences of getting hurt can mean physical, emotional, and financial costs. It’s only fair that the person who caused that distress should pay for those costs.
Injuries from a swimming pool can lead to problems that quickly pile up. These include:
- Medical costs for emergency care and hospitalization
- Ongoing bills for doctor visits, physical therapy, and pain medications
- Loss of work due to the injury, or even long-term side effects of injuries
- Permanent or long-term disability
- Loss of mobility or motor functions
- Poor quality of life
- Pain and suffering
Call the Hartman Law Firm Today to Speak to a Charleston Personal Injury Lawyer
If you, a loved one, or your child was injured in a swimming pool accident, you need to speak to an experienced, qualified attorney as soon as possible. Charleston accident injury attorney Frank Hartman has represented countless victims of negligence. He has a strong record of success and will help you find the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation with Frank, call 843-300-7600 today or contact us online.
Want to Know More About Pool Safety?
The Pool Care Guy built this super-informational infographic about pool safety and drowning prevention.