What could be more exhilarating than plunging into a clear, cozy pool in the heat of summer? The feeling is exquisite. Whether you own a pool in your backyard or look to relish the coolness of the one in that 5-star hotel, staying safe while at it is paramount.
According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of 379 deaths occur in a swimming pool or spa yearly. This number is aside from the numerous injuries that occur. Indeed, something sweet could as well leave a bitter taste.
But to be forewarned is to be forearmed. You'll be best prepared if you know the likely accidents you may be exposed to in a swimming pool.
Below is a brief highlight of 5 common swimming pool accidents.
5 Common swimming pool accidents that are considered serious
When a death occurs within 24 hours, it is considered drowning. It is termed near drowning when no death occurs within that time.
Drowning isn't the only undesirable experience one may have in a pool. A suction force may cause your hair to be entrapped or entangled, leading to severe head injuries or drowning.
Pool toy entrapment
Inflatable pool toys may flip, tangle, and trap an inexperienced swimmer or child underwater.
Slips and falls
Slippery pool surfaces can cause you to fall, leading to injuries. You may also slip and fall when you get involved in risky behaviors.
Faulty electrical systems may allow electrical charges into the water, electrocuting whoever is in the swimming pool.
What to do after a swimming pool accident
The first thing to do after a swimming pool accident is to get out of the water and receive treatment. Sometimes, you may be at fault for the accident because you're an unskilled swimmer or you engaged in dangerous behavior. However, most swimming pool accidents fall under premises liability, a type of personal injury where a person's commercial area poses a threat to the people present.
For example, electrocution due to faulty electrical systems is often due to the owner's negligence in maintaining the swimming pool. If you believe your swimming pool accident was due to the property owner's inability to keep the area up to safety standards, you can sue them for your injuries. You'll need the help of a personal injury attorney near you to evaluate your claim and represent you in court. If the property owner is found liable for the offense, the court will order them to compensate you financially for your medical bills incurred due to the injury.
Ways to prevent swimming pool accidents
Learn to swim
Jumping into a pool without first learning to swim can be a precursor to a swimming pool accident. Sadly, many adults do not know how to swim. Taking time to learn how to swim can be a wise investment as you'll be better able to enjoy the activity with minimal risks. You can also enroll your little children in formal swimming lessons.
Lack of supervision is one of the leading causes of swimming pool accidents among children. It takes less than five minutes of submersion for drowning to occur. So if you leave your unskilled child in the pool alone for five minutes, you expose them to grave danger. It's also advisable to learn CPR so you can help save your child or someone else when such an emergency presents itself.
Stay away from drains
Drain covers can cause suction, leading to entrapment and entangling of hair, which may cause severe head injuries. Pool owners should use drain covers. You should also warn your kids to stay away from drains.
Mind your alcohol intake before swimming
According to the CDC, alcohol intake contributes to 70% of water-related deaths in adolescents and adults. Heavy alcohol intake can propel you to make risky decisions when swimming. On the other hand, intense sun exposure (think summer and swimming) can cause dehydration, which aggravates the effect of alcohol (slow response and lack of coordination). If you must drink alcohol before swimming, which is pretty likely, ensure you drink water to stay hydrated.
Secure swimming pools with fences or gates
Swimming pool owners should outfit their properties with proper fencing or gates to keep little children safe. Such outfits will help prevent someone from falling in and drowning.
Swimming is fun, just like driving, skiing, and many other things, but they also come with risks. It's best to prepare for such risks by acquiring the necessary skills, reducing the odds of their occurrence.
However, should you ever be involved in a swimming pool accident, take the necessary steps to restore your quality of life and finances as best you can.