Whether swimming pools are being used for recreation, exercise, therapy or sports, they have the potential for drowning and injuries. Officials at Pool Safety, maintained by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, report that every year more than 300 children under the age of 5 drown in local swimming pools. Thousands more children and adults face life-threatening injuries from pool accidents that may cause permanent disabilities.
Faulty equipment or swimmers unaware of inherent dangers in swimming pool apparatuses can cause significant injury. Drains and suction equipment that circulate water and chemicals can cause devastating injuries when people are sucked into them. Faulty covers or missing parts can leave gaps that suck in hair, clothing, jewelry or limbs. The powerful suction in many public swimming pools can cause disembowelment to swimmers caught in the traps.
Pools are a drowning hazard for children and unskilled swimmers. A four-sided barrier or locking fence for both residential and community pools prevents unintended falls into the water. Children and those with limited abilities should never swim unattended. Train supervising adults in CPR and other life-saving practices to help those who get in trouble in the water. Alarms and safety covers also help to prevent accidental drowning. Doctors at the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend removing toys from a pool so as not to tempt children to reach for them.
When water sits on walkways and pool tiles, they make for a very slippery surface. Enforce pool safely rules about running on the sides of pools to prevent falls on the hard cement or tile. Don’t permit pushing, shoving and general horsing around near a pool because of the slippery surfaces and hard-surfaced walkways. A person who slips could fall into the water with an injury and not be able to swim to safety.
About this Author
Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist who’s spent more than 20 years doing in-depth research and reporting on trends in health care and fitness for newspapers and magazines, including the “Greenville News,” “Success,” “Verve,” and “American City Business Journals.” In addition to sports and alternative therapies, Ray has extensive experience covering banking, commercial development and people. Ray has a bachelor’s degree in journalism.