As we watch the remaining “winter” melt away, thoughts are already turning to spending time at the pool. We are looking for our lounge chairs, beach towels and sun block. We are not thinking at all about all the dangers a swimming pool comes with. Maybe we should; accidents happen.
The first thing someone thinks about when considering what could go wrong in a swimming pool is drowning. For people of all ages, drowning is the 6th leading cause of death. For children aged 1-14 drowning is the 2nd leading cause of death. Knowing how to swim does not mean you are safe from drowning. And if you do know how to swim don’t make the mistake of thinking everyone knows how. Some people feel that using a kiddie pool is a safe way for their kids to enjoy a cool dip in the water. They are no safer than a larger pool. It only takes one inch of water to cause drowning. There are some safety tips to take to keep yourself and others safe in the water. Never leave a baby or small child alone near water. All pools should have fencing around them at least four feet high. And remove all toys from the pool when it’s not in use to prevent children from attempting to retrieve them.
Diving accidents are another danger in swimming pools. Adolescents have the highest rate of diving accidents of all the age groups. Most diving accidents occur in shallow water of less than four feet of water, with headfirst dives causing the most injuries. Neck injuries that sometimes cause paralysis are common from headfirst diving in shallow water. Head and back injuries can be caused from hitting the board as well as hitting the bottom of the pool. Always check the depth of the water when attempting a dive. Make sure there is no one in the area you will be diving into.
Another type of injury around pools is a fall. Anytime you have a tile with water on it, you have a slip and fall waiting to happen. Add kids running around having a good time and it’s inevitable. Many people are not opting for a rougher surface around their in ground pool to minimize the slippery conditions. It’s obvious that another way to stop slips and falls around a pool is to keep running to a minimum.
Now you are fully aware of what to watch out for to make your pool time a safe time. Enjoy!