While hopping in the swimming pool can offer some relief from the summer heat, it’s important for everyone to understand that this is no area to engage in horseplay or let your guard down. Unintentional drownings cause thousands of deaths each year and are a leading cause of death for children between the ages of 0 and 4.
Knowing what to do, as well as what to avoid, while swimming can help you, your children, and your guests stay safe during the summer months.
Pool Safety Do’s
Whether you are using a backyard pool or a community pool, certain steps should be taken when swimming. Make sure that you DO:
- Teach Children to Swim. It is recommended that children aged 4 and older take swimming lessons. Even before they reach that age, toddlers should get familiar and comfortable in the water.
- Apply Sunscreen. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can become amplified from the water’s reflection. Make sure to apply water-resistant sunscreen before getting in the pool and reapply every 1-2 hours.
- Enforce Pool Safety Rules. The rules are there for a reason—to prevent serious or fatal injuries. Pool decks can become slippery when wet, so ensure that no one is running outside of the pool. Only use the pool during the recommended hours listed and ensure there is no horseplay while swimming.
- Have an Adult Supervising. Even if young children know how to swim, they should always be supervised in the pool by a sober adult. Keep toddlers within arm’s reach.
- Stay Hydrated. It is easy to become dehydrated while swimming because you can’t tell how much water you are losing during physical activity. Ensure that you and your children are drinking water or fluids often enough to never become thirsty.
- Have a Pool Gate with a Childproof Lock. To prevent young children from jumping into the pool unsupervised or accidentally falling in, ensure that there is a four-sided barrier around the pool with a childproof lock on the gate.
Pool Safety Don’ts
On the other hand, there are several things that you should avoid in a pool. Make sure that you DON’T:
- Leave Children Unattended. Even children who know how to swim are at risk of drowning. Remember, drowning is often a quick and silent process, so don’t turn your back even for a second.
- Overindulging in Alcohol While Swimming or Supervising. Drinking and swimming is often a recipe for disaster, as it can impair judgment and motor skills. While no one should drink while swimming, at the very least, ensure that the supervising adult will not be drinking.
- Be Unprepared in the Event of an Emergency. Always be prepared should an accident happen. In the event of an emergency, such as drowning, have someone present who knows CPR and call 9-1-1 immediately.
- Leave Pool Toys in the Water. Balls, floaties, and other toys left in the pool can tempt young children to reach for them, which can result in them accidentally falling in and drowning. Ensure that all pool items are taken out when the pool is not in use.
- Dive Headfirst in the Shallow End. Diving in shallow water can result in a head injury and increase the risk of drowning. Always check the depth markers on the side of the pool so you know how deep the water is before jumping in.
- Rely Completely on Floatation Devices. Floatation devices, such as swim vests or arm floaties, can add an extra layer of security and they are often a good idea for young children with questionable swimming abilities. However, you should never rely on them completely to prevent children from potentially drowning.
Our Team Can Help After a Pool Accident
By heeding the precautions listed above, we hope that you and your family have a summer full of safe swimming. Should you or a family member be injured in a pool accident on another person’s property, you may have legal grounds to file a premises liability claim through the person’s homeowners insurance. Fowler | Helsel | Vogt is here to fight for you.
For more information or to learn more about your legal options, contact our Fresno premises liability attorneys at (559) 900-1280 today. We offer free case evaluations and clients pay no out-of-pocket fees to retain our services.