With summer around the corner and the weather getting warmer, it’s only a matter of time before swimming pools and hot tubs become the go-to venue for friends and families to get together. Pools can provide the perfect setting for barbecues, parties, and group hangouts, but they also present risks for drownings and injuries that could be life-threatening. Although incidences of drowning are more common for children (it is estimated that 300 children under the age of 5 drown in swimming pools every year), pools can certainly pose dangers to adults as well.
One notable characteristic of pool injuries and deaths is that they can take only seconds to occur, often catching bystanders by surprise (many have even been known to say “I only looked away for a second”). The best way to keep the focus on the fun during pool parties and get-togethers is to ensure they are safe– this means implementing steps to prevent accidents, especially in group settings. Here are some tips to get you started:
Stay close, be alert
- Always watch children when they are in the pool, never leave them unattended
- Designate an official “Water Watcher”–an adult assigned to supervise children in the water without distraction.
- Do not consider children to be “drown-proof” because they have had swimming lessons
Teach and practice water safety skills
- Teach children to stay away from drains or suction outlets
- Never enter a pool or hot tub that has a loose, broken, or missing drain cover–children’s hair, limbs, jewelry, or bathing suits can get stuck in a drain or suction opening
- Teach children to swim, float, and other vital water skills
Use pool safety equipment
- Proper fences (at least 4 feet in height), barriers, alarms and covers can be life-saving
- Install a self-closing, self-latching gate to provide access to water
- Keep pool and hot tub covers in working condition
- Have life-saving equipment such as life rings or reaching poles available for use
For more tips and resources on pool safety, visit the CPSC’s Pool Safely site here.
If you have suffered a swimming pool or spa injury as the result of the negligence of a property owner or business, please do not hesitate to call our office for a free legal consultation at (727) 786-5000 or fill out our case evaluation form on the Contact page of our website.