Posted On August 31, 2016 In Personal Injury
Swimming pools provide our community with a fun, recreational activity during the warm summer and fall months. What you may not realize is that swimming pools can be unsafe for surprising reasons. For example, untreated swimming pools during hot summer months can contain Naegleria fowleri, also known as the brain-eating amoeba.
Accidents can happen at public or private swimming pools, and there are different safety tips depending on which you decide to use. However, tips like ‘no running’ or teaching your children to swim are universal for both public and private pools. Running can easily lead to a slip and fall accident. Parents should also obtain a CPR certification.
Stay vigilant: Public swimming pools are likely to be packed, meaning your children may require extra supervision. Drownings can happen quickly and with little warning. It also helps to make sure the pool you are using has a trained lifeguard, although that is not a substitution for parental supervision.
Be wary of drain entrapments: By law, public swimming pools are required to use compliant drain covers and other equipment to prevent deaths caused by drain entrapments. This does not mean regulations are always going to being followed. Flat or broken drain covers are a sign the pool is not compliant with regulations stipulated in the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act (P&SS Act). The P&SS Act was passed in remembrance of a young girl who died after becoming caught in a public pool drain. To maximize safety, make sure children are playing away from drains.
Some public pools are unsanitary or unsafe: This is not an opinion, but a fact based on statistics from a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). According to the CDC, eight out of ten public pools were in violation of at least one safety rule. In addition, one in eight of these violations required pools to temporarily shut down. These findings were based on 84,187 inspections of 48,632 public pools, many of which were in Texas.
Install barriers around pools and spas: According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), private pools should have four-foot fencing. This can help keep children from climbing the fence and possibly drowning. Pools can also use alarms to alert parents when children are near pools unsupervised. The CPSC also claims parents should regularly maintain pool and spa covers.
Don’t leave children unattended: Leaving children unattended for even a few minutes can end in tragedy. Before leaving the pool to answer your doorbell or use the bathroom, be sure your children are looked after until you get back.
Make sure you have compliant drain covers: Private pools can also have dangerous drains. You can find out more about compliant drain covers from the CPSC.
Take steps to prevent electrical shock: A licensed electrician can install pool and spa lights and other equipment in accordance with the National Electric Code. Electricians can inspect underwater lights to ensure they are safe for use. Keep electronics with wires ten feet away from the pool. Never use damaged electrical cords.
Texas has another two months of warm weather. If you are going to enjoy swimming, these tips may help you avoid the causes of common accidents.
Public and private pool owners have a duty to care for the safety of guests. When this duty is neglected, pool owners might be responsible for accidents.
The Texas personal injury attorneys at Mike Love & Associates, LLC, wish you a fun and safe summer and fall.