Beating the summer heat by taking a refreshing dip in a cool swimming pool is a favorite pastime of kids and adults everywhere. Pools can add significant value to your home, and be a great feature for hosting parties, barbecues, and even just summer fun days. As the calendar turns to summer again and schools start letting out, people everywhere are jumping in and making the most of their pool. However, before you do, it's important to recognize the risk that swimming pools can carry and prepare yourself with a few valuable safety tips.
1. FOLLOW GENERAL POOL SAFETY ETIQUETTE
Regardless of whether you are a pool owner or a guest, there are a few general rules you should follow or enforce on your property. The easiest one is "walk around the pool." A wet pool deck can be extremely slippery and falling can cause serious injury. Likewise, most pool owners will have a "no diving in shallow water" rule, as this can cause serious head injuries while under water, which can in turn cause a drowning accident. Know the depth of the water through the various locations of the pool you are in and recognize if and where it is safe to dive into a pool.
2. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM
Whether you own a pool or are a guest at another's, never swim alone. Always make sure someone can come to your aid if you become injured or cramp while in deep water. When you have guests at your pool, make sure there is always some sort of supervision from a person who is physically capable of helping anyone who finds themselves in trouble. Most drowning accidents occur when someone uses a swimming pool alone.
3. INSTALL PROPER SAFETY EQUIPMENT
The number one thing a pool owner should have is an appropriate barrier around the pool area. Young children may not recognize the danger a pool can present, and this could bring an "attractive nuisance" lawsuit if you do not have the appropriate barriers installed. A good barrier should be at least five feet tall with a gate latch up around the top so it is not easily accessible by young children.
When the pool is in use, make sure you have the proper life saving devices available. A life preserver and telescoping hook should be installed where they are easily accessible on a moment's notice. For young children or those who are not strong swimmers, approved floatation devices, such as a properly-fitting life vest should always be used, and make sure these people stay in shallower waters. Inflatable flotation devices are not approved and should never be relied upon as lifesaving devices.
4. KNOW CPR
While CPR is a valuable skill for nearly anybody to learn, anyone who has a pool on their property should always know and be able to properly perform CPR on a moment's notice. CPR can save the life of anyone who has a drowning accident, and the quicker it is applied, the less likely the chance of a serious injury or death as a result of drowning. Also be sure to have a stocked first-aid kit readily available for any other minor injuries that may result in the pool area. Quick response can keep everyone healthy, your pool operational, and reduce healing time for the victim.
Goldstein, Heslop, Steele, Clapper, Oswalt & Smith is an Altoona personal injury law firm focusing on numerous different types of personal injury law, including many premises liability, attractive nuisance, and slip and fall cases. Our experienced team of attorneys has helped numerous clients receive compensation benefits for medical expenses, bereavement, rehabilitation, disability and more for all kinds of injuries, including many drowning and pool injury cases in Altoona.
Contact our Altoona, Pennsylvania firm online or by calling (804) 705-4741 today if you have any questions regarding pool safety, or if you or a loved one has been injured as a result of swimming pool accident.