Pools in Georgia become packed as soon as temperatures rise. Many community pools open their doors to the public right around the time schools release for summer break. Children can't wait to put on their new swimmies and try out their awesome goggles. The pool is a perfect place to spend a hot day, but many accidents do happen at pools that unfortunately result in injuries. We've previously discussed a few basic pool safety tips that everyone should follow here, but we also wanted to address the most common pool accidents and injuries, the causes, and how to avoid them.
Slip and Falls
One of the most common accidents that occur at swimming pools are slip and falls. The sidewalks and surfaces surrounding the pool, including bathrooms, are bound to be wet and slippery. These accidents effect children the most, as they get excited and want to run resulting in a slip and fall accident. As parents or caretakers, it is important to teach children pool safety and enforce following the pool rules, which includes, no running. Slip and falls can cause various injuries ranging from small scrapes and bruises to serious head injuries and broken bones.
Illness or Infections
Swimming pool maintenance is a huge duty among pool owners or those that work at community or public pools. Without proper maintenance, which includes correct and consistent cleaning, balancing chlorine levels, using and maintaining correct pumps and filters, etc., can lead to serious illness or infections for pool users. Common recreational water illnesses include, ear infections, rashes, respiratory infections, eye irritations, etc. If you are a pool owner, it is your duty to maintain the cleanliness of your pool to ensure the safety of others. You should never swim or let your child swim in a pool if you believe it has not been properly maintained. For further precaution, it can be wise to use ear plugs, nose plugs, and goggles when you are swimming to protect you from illnesses or infections.
Jumping/Diving Into Shallow Water or Overcrowded Areas
Another common accident at swimming pools involves diving or jumping into shallow water or overcrowded areas. Diving is typically not allowed at community or public pools and signs will usually denote that. Although it isn't allowed, that doesn't mean it won't happen. Often times, people will dive into pools that are as little as 5 feet deep. Doing so creates serious head injury risks for these individuals. Additionally, children will often times jump into the water without paying close attention to where they are jumping. They may jump on top of someone, jump too close to the edge, etc. resulting in not only hurting themselves, but often times hurting someone else. As parents or caretakers, we must first set the example for children by not diving when it isn't allowed. Then, we should again teach them pool safety and pool rules and let them know what can happen if certain rules aren't followed.
Drownings are the most serious swimming pool accidents and are the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related death. The most at risk ages for drownings are those 14 and under. Swimming pool drownings can occur for many reasons including, inability to swim, inadequate fencing, lack of supervision, negligent lifeguards or pool staff, failure to use life jackets or flotation devices, consuming alcohol while swimming, seizures, etc. Drownings are horrific incidents that can usually be avoided, but safety precautions must be used. To prevent the risk of child drownings, parents, caretakers, and pool owners or staff should actively enforce the use of life jackets or flotations devices any time a child is in a pool area. Many community pools with lifeguards require swim tests before letting children enter the pool. This is a great way to gauge a child's swimming ability and can really protect them from a serious accident. Pool owners or pool staff should also ensure that their pool is properly gated with locks to prevent children from being able to enter on their own. Swimming pools are considered an "attractive nuisance" in Georgia, so it is ten times more important to secure pool entries. Additionally, lifeguards or pool staff should avoid distractions and pay close attention when they are on duty.
There is a plethora of swimming pool accidents and injuries that can occur, but most of them can be avoided if safety precautions are taken and rules are followed. Children get very consumed with the excitement of swimming pools, so as adults it is our job to teach and enforce safety rules to ensure that a day at the pool doesn't end in disaster.
If you or your child has been injured due to someone else's negligence at a swimming pool, you may have a premises liability case on your hands. With questions, it is smart to contact an experienced law firm, such as Kaufman Law.