As we’re now just past the Fourth of July holiday weekend, summer is in full swing. With the 2021 heatwave affecting most of the continental U.S., pool owners all around the country are taking full advantage of their backyard oases to beat the heat. Those without pools looking to take a dip in the water can be found at local community centers and town pools.
While pools offer a break from the heat and can be an excellent form of exercise, they can also be dangerous—especially for younger and inexperienced swimmers. According to the CDC, drowning is the leading cause of death in American children between ages one and four. So to keep your family safe this summer while still having fun, it’s important to know how to stay safe around pools.
Proper Pool Precautions
If you own a pool, it’s important to know how to take care of the area and reduce the risk of accidents and injury to others. Some of the most common property precautions you should consider include the following:
- Pool Fence. One of the best things you can do to promote pool safety is to build a fence around the pool. The fence should have a gate the opens outward and be self-closing and self-latching. For those with above-ground pools, they should consider step or ladder enclosures.
- Alarm Systems. If you’re worried about children going into the pool area when an adult isn’t around, you can install alarm systems to let you know when gates to the pool are opened. There are also motion sensor devices that can let you know when someone jumps or falls into the pool.
- Rescue Equipment. Pool owners should have a device to pull someone out of the water, as well as a first aid kit. All rescue equipment should be stored near the pool in an area that’s easily accessible and clearly marked.
- Slip Hazards. Anyone around the pool can slip on a wet surface or trip over an object left near the edge of the pool. That’s why it’s important to have separate storage space for floats, toys, and equipment.
- Chemical Storage. While pool chemicals, like chlorine, protect swimmers by killing germs in the water, they can lead to injury if not handled properly. Therefore, chemicals should always be stored out of reach and in a locked, well-ventilated area.
In addition to those precautions, it’s important to make sure visitors know how deep the pool is. Children should be supervised at all times, and adults should only swim as far as they’re comfortable, based on their level of swimming expertise.
In regard to diving safety, it’s important for swimmers to never dive in shallow water. They should also pay attention to posted signs if at a public pool. Diving is a leading cause of sports and recreation-related spinal cord injuries. Therefore, diving boards should be used with care at all times.
In general, it’s also a good idea to have a swimming buddy—even as an adult. It only takes seconds for an accident to happen. If you’re swimming by yourself and something happens, you’ll want someone else there to help you and ensure your safety.
A-B-C Method for Drowning Victims
Homeowners with pools should be aware of how to assist drowning victims. While they will hopefully never have to put the knowledge to use, it’s important to be prepared.
The A-B-C Method are the three steps you should take once a drowning victim is removed from the water: (A)irway, (B)reathing, and (C)irculaton. Start by tilting the victim’s head back to ensure their airway isn’t obstructed. Then, pinch the victim’s nose and breath into their month. Finally, perform chest compression to stimulate the heart and resume blood circulation. If there is anyone else around while you are doing this, make sure they call 911 immediately.
While the A-B-C Method can save lives, it’s only basic knowledge. Those who own pools should take proper CPR and water safety courses, as well.
Get Help From Thomas Law Offices
Even if you take all the appropriate actions and precautions discussed above, it’s possible that a negligent pool owner’s poor decision could still result in an accident. If you or someone you know has been injured, there may be grounds for a personal injury claim.
Thomas Law Offices is well-versed in premises liability claims, and our attorneys are here to help. To learn more about your legal rights and options after an accident, click here to schedule a free case evaluation.