Pools are meant for enjoying warm weather and family fun. Without the proper precaution, things can turn tragic in the matter of seconds. Pools and hot tubs are especially dangerous for children. About 20% of drowning fatalities are children under the age of 15. There are measures pool owners should take to avoid unnecessary accidents, including pool safety nets, pool fencing, and enforcing strict rules around the pool area.
These accidents include:
Drowning: Between 2005 and 2009, there were over 3,500 fatal drownings (non-boating related) each year. That equals out to about 10 deaths per day. Drowning can happen many different ways but being aware and alert at all times is great way to avoid any mishaps. This means always keeping an eye on young children and not swimming in water that is too deep.
Injuries Caused by Falling/Slipping: While broken bones or concussions are common sports-related injuries, the pool is a perfect place for these to happen. Whether it’s running on the side of the pool or jumping from a diving board, anything can happen. A no-running and jumping policy should be enforced for swimmers.
Drain Entrapment: Like a monster hiding in the deep, pool and hot tub drains (mostly found in public pools) account for a large number of injuries as well as two documented deaths. The suction from the drain can pull a swimmer under the water. If the suction power is strong enough, the swimmer can drown. Some people have even been disemboweled by large drains.
A law was signed by President Bush in 2007 that states public pools and hot tubs must have a protective drain cover. This came into effect following the death of a young girl after she was pulled under the water by a hot tub drain, her mother unable to free her from the suction. If you visit a public pool, look for the drain first. If it doesn’t have a protective cover, report and avoid it.
To keep hazardous conditions under control, it’s important to implement strict rules that have to be followed when near the pool. This includes no running, never swimming alone, and being aware of where the drain is at all times.
One of the most effective ways for pool owners to prevent accidents is by using pool fencing and a pool safety cover. Swimming pool fencing should be at least four feet high with a self-closing gate and latch. The latch to open the fence should be well out of the reach of children. With the help of a pool safety cover or pool safety net, the pool fencing is even more effective. By putting a protective barrier between any children and the pool, you are drastically decreasing the likelihood of a drowning or other accidents.