How to Prevent Swimming Pool Accidents
As popular as swimming pools may be in the Summer, there’s always the unfortunate risk of an injury occurring. It’s not a pleasant thought, to be sure, but it’s worth discussing nonetheless. Preventing swimming pool accidents may not be a fun topic, but there are a few key things that every parent should consider in order to protect their child at the pool. Of course, if swimming pool accidents occur in spite of these tips, then the next step should be to contact a West Virginia personal injury lawyer. Without further ado, here are several tips to prevent swimming pool accidents and keep your family safe by the water.
Keep Toys Away from the Pool
Obviously, toys are okay near the pool if they’re being used. The issues arises when they’re not being used though, as that’s when accidents most often happen. If no one’s playing with a toy while it’s near the pool, then there’s a good chance that someone might forget about it entirely, which can then lead to a nasty spill. Additionally, toys can create a real problem for children that are easily distracted. If no one’s keeping an eye on them and they see a toy in the pool unattended, they might be tempted to grab it for themselves. If you want to make sure your children are safe in the pool, you’ll also want to make sure the toys are where they belong at all times.
Keep an Eye on Your Kids
This should go without saying, but you don’t want to leave young children unattended by the pool under any circumstances. Even if your confident in their ability to stay afloat, accidents primarily occur when someone gets overconfident to the point of being negligent. If you need to leave the pool for any reason, take your child with you or have a trusted figure watch them while you’re away. It may not always be convenient, but it’s certainly preferable to requiring the services of a West Virgina personal injury lawyer.
Similarly, a buddy system can be a great way of making sure that everyone is where they should be. If you have multiple children of various ages, you can have them set up a buddy system of their own so that you can better focus your attention elsewhere when you’re not near them. This also applies beyond children too, even if you think you’re a good swimmer. Although you might not want to have a “buddy” go with you to the pool, the same system works with something as simple as a lifeguard. As long as you have someone that can take care of you in the event of an accident, then you’ll dramatically cut down on the chances of being involved in an accident.
If you don’t know CPR, then either learn it or make sure another adult does. CPR can be the difference between life or death and is an absolutely essential skill to have before taking children to a pool. Most swimming pool accidents can either be avoided or have most of the damage mitigated by the timely use of CPR. It is well worth the investment, even if you never have to actually use it.
Pay Attention to Shallow Water
Diving into shallow water is obviously frowned upon, but sometimes it can be difficult to tell ahead of time. As a good rule of thumb, avoid diving at all into any pool that has less than at least six feet of water.
Stay Away During Thunderstorms
Although this is another somewhat obvious one, you’d be surprised how often people still suffer from injuries after getting back into a pool too quickly after a thunderstorm, or refusing to get out altogether. Despite many people assuming the odds are in their favor, the simple truth is that it’s never worth the risk. Even if the chances of being struck by lightning are low, what’s the point? This is especially true if you have young children in the area. The pool will still be there after the thunderstorm has passed, so don’t rush the process. Also, it’s important to remember to wait at least 30 minutes after a thunderstorm has occurred before getting back in the pool. As long as you’re patient, the weather shouldn’t cause any issues for your pool party.
Don’t Get Too Drunk
Swimming and drinking responsibly seems like it should go hand-in-hand, but the truth is that for many people it’s hard to distinguish responsibly from wildly. Once a pool enters the equation, drinking can be a disastrous choice. Still, it’s hard to tell people not to drink alcohol entirely before entering a pool. Instead, try to think of swimming as being similar to driving. If you can recognize that you’re too drunk to drive a car, then you’re probably too drunk to go swimming too. By using this as a baseline for your decision making, you can ensure that you steer clear of any situations that might otherwise turn tragic.
Remember There’s No Substitute for Safety
Although many people consider floating toys to be an effective stand-in for a life jacket, the simple truth is that they’re not. Toys are exactly what they’re called: toys. With that in mind, try to avoid substituting actual safety tools for simple toys that can break at a moment’s notice. If a serious issue does arise, you’ll want to know that you can trust the tools at your disposal to keep you and your family out of harm’s way.
Similarly, there’s no shame in requiring an actual flotation device to go in the pool. Don’t shame people for wanting to be safe while enjoying the pool, and also don’t shame yourself if you’re not feeling confident in your own swimming abilities. Too many people end up getting into dangerous situations because they feel both external and internal pressure to appear needlessly confident. When you’re dealing with a swimming pool, it’s important to be respectful of the potential danger it represents. Once you understand that you can have a serious accident from negligence, you’ll be much more wary of performing any stunts that could get you hurt. Of course, it’s also worth imparting this same level of caution to your family as well. As long as everyone understands the potential risks involved in a swimming pool, then the chances of an accident occurring drop significantly.
On the other hand, there’s a fine line between being cautious of a pool and being driven completely paranoid by it. It’s important to respect the pool without being afraid of it.
Understand Your Limitations
Finally, make sure that you understand your own personal limitations when it comes to swimming. Even if you believe yourself to be an excellent swimmer, bad things can still happen. The more confident you are in your own abilities, the more you run the risk of missing the important cues that lead up to an accident. This also applies to many of the other situations described in this list. Once you stop considering your own limitations and become too comfortable, you open yourself up to the potential for a serious accident to either yourself or your family.
While these tips alone can’t guarantee your safety, they should serve as an effective baseline that you and your family can keep in mind whenever you visit a swimming pool. Whether you routinely go to a swimming club, or have a swimming pool in your backyard, these tips can help to keep you, your family, and your friends safe. Personal injury cases involving swimming pools are rarely pretty, so it’s something that you should prepare for well ahead of time. Don’t let negligence by the pool cause irreparable damage to you or your loved ones. While an attorney can help take care of you in the event of a swimming pool accident, they can’t undo the consequences of a tragedy.
Of course, there are also plenty of accidents that have nothing to do with attentiveness. There might be a malfunction with the pool itself, or a faulty diving board, or any other issue that is only marginally related to the pool itself. In these scenarios as well, the best thing to do is step forward and contact a personal injury lawyer. They can help you to determine liability and set up a plan moving forward to ensure that no one else suffers from a similar accident. Either way, it’s important to remember that you can stay safe while still managing to have a little bit of fun. As long as you make sure to follow these tips, it’s our hope that you will be able to continue having exciting pool adventures for many years to come.
To arrange a meeting to discuss your rights and options, contact our office online or call us at 800-766-9441.