Common Swimming Pool Accidents
Swimming pools are a great way to relax and beat the heat on a summer day. However, pools often become the site of serious accidents when proper safety precautions are not followed. Swimming pool accidents can result in injuries and even death, that oftentimes could have been prevented.
According to the CDC, drowning is the number one cause of unintentional death for children between the ages of 1 and 4. And an average of 3,500 to 4,000 people drown per year in the United States.
These accidents can happen for many reasons, but the most common causes include:
Not Knowing how to Swim
Research indicates that children who receive swimming instruction are less likely to drown or suffer a swimming-related injury. So don’t delay; sign you and your family up for swimming lessons before the summer really kicks off. And if you aren’t already CPR certified, take classes in CPR certification so you can help loved ones if they lose consciousness from taking in too much water.
Lack of Fencing or Barriers
To keep small children and others safe, proper fencing and gates need to be installed around pools to prevent someone from falling in and drowning. Four-sided fencing around swimming pools reduces the risk of drowning by about 80% compared to swimming pools secured by three-sided fencing.
Failure to Properly Supervise Swimmers
Lack of supervision is by far the most common cause of swimming pool accidents, especially when children are involved. When a lifeguard is not present or properly trained, or there isn’t a parent supervising, the chance of an accident is greatly increased. It is always important to keep a watchful eye on children near swimming pools since these accidents can occur so suddenly. In fact, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that when a child is unsupervised near a pool, drowning can occur in just five minutes or less.
There's a reason you see those "alcohol prohibited" signs outside public swimming pools: according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 70% of water-related deaths involve alcohol. When impaired judgment and a lack of coordination from drinking is paired with the risky environment of a swimming pool, the results can be devastating.
According to the CDC, parents and caregivers can follow Pool Safely’s simple steps to help prevent fatal and nonfatal drownings and keep children safer:
- Never leave a child unattended in or near water, and always designate an adult Water Watcher. This person should not be reading, texting, using a smartphone or be otherwise distracted. In addition to pools and hottubs, this includes bathtubs, buckets, ponds, and fountains.
- If you own a pool or hottub, install layers of barriers to prevent the unsupervised child from accessing the water. Parents can take advantage of technology by using door alarms, pool covers, and self-closing, self-latching devices on doors that access the pools and on gates of four-sided fences.
- Learn how to perform CPR on children and adults.
- Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim.
- Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments.
- Ensure any pool and hottub you use has drain covers that comply with federal safety standards and if you do not know, ask your pool service provider about safer drain covers.
If you own a pool and would like to speak with us about limiting potential accidents, or if you’ve already had an accident and need to know what to do next, contact our personal injury attorney, Melissa Scartelli. You can reach her via phone at: 570-346-2600.