Swimming pools are a fantastic way to relax and enjoy yourself on a hot summer day. Sadly, swimming pools can also be the source of serious accidents, especially if safety protocols are not followed. A swimming pool accident can lead to lifelong injuries or even death. The unfortunate reality is that many swimming pool accidents could be prevented. Here are five common causes of home swimming pool accidents.
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1. Lack of Supervision
The number one cause of swimming pool accidents is the lack of supervision. This is especially true when children are involved. If there is no parent, guardian, or someone else who is a strong swimmer and possibly trained in CPR, the chances of a life-threatening accident are significantly increased. In addition to supervision, installing a pool fence drastically reduces the chances of unauthorized children falling into the swimming pool. Accidents because of lack of supervision happen quickly. If a child is unsupervised near a pool, drowning can happen in less than 10 minutes.
According to the CDC, up to 70% of deaths connected to water recreation and nearly 25% of emergency department visits related to drowning are because of intoxication. When a person is intoxicated, their coordination is greatly diminished. Even if they are a good swimmer under normal circumstances, intoxicated people may find themselves struggling to keep their heads above water.
Additionally, alcohol can make a person overestimate their abilities. A person who does not know how to swim may jump into a deep pool thinking that they are a better swimmer than they are. Mixing intoxication with the risky environment of a swimming pool is unbelievably devastating.
3. Defective Equipment
A swimming pool should be inspected periodically to ensure its equipment is functioning correctly. Defective parts and equipment can lead to unforeseen accidents resulting in serious physical injury. For example, a damaged diving board can be dangerous and seriously threaten swimmer safety. A missing or broken ladder could leave a person fighting to get out of the pool. Under federal law, swimming pools should have anti-entrapment devices to prevent a swimmer’s limbs, hair, or clothing from getting caught in the drain. Missing or defective anti-entrapment devices have led to many fatal accidents.
4. Poorly Lit Pools
The area around your home swimming pool needs to be adequately lit. This includes inside the pool and the surrounding areas. If there is not enough lighting, a person might think the pool is deeper than it is, dive off the diving board, and hurt themselves. If someone struggles in the water, others may have difficulty seeing where the swimmer is, especially if the pool is deep.
5. Slippery Surfaces
By its nature, the area around the pool is wet and slippery. If the area around the pool is tiled, it can become incredibly slick. Uneven or cracked pavement can also lead to catastrophic accidents. A person may slip and fall and hit their head before falling into the pool. If they lose consciousness or are dazed, they may lack the wherewithal to swim to the surface. Homeowners should consider this when designing the pool area and ensure that it has anti-slip surfaces to keep their families and guests safe.
Cloudy or Murky Water
Cloudy or murky water could be a sign of poor pool maintenance. This makes swimming underwater dangerous because swimmers might not be able to gauge the depth of the pool accurately, or they might swim headfirst into one of the pool walls or hit one of the ladders. This could leave them disoriented and result in a drowning accident. If someone is struggling under the water, friends, and family trying to rescue them may have difficulty finding the individual if the water is cloudy or murky. Pool maintenance and clean water are essential responsibilities for all pool owners. Accidents caused by pool negligence can result in hypothermia, aspiration, brain damage, pneumonia, and severe other submersion injuries.
Keep Your Pool Safe for Your Family and Guests
Most states have pool fence laws to protect children and adults from drowning. As a pool owner, you must verify with state and other governmental municipalities to ensure that your pool is up to spec. This way, you can ensure that the summer spent around the pool is enjoyable and injury free.