During the blisteringly hot dog days of summer in Florida, there really is nothing better than a refreshing dip in a pool. Unfortunately, without taking the necessary precautions, swimming pools can prove dangerous. According to the CDC, more than 3,500 people die in drowning accidents every year – that’s nearly 10 unintentional drowning deaths per day – and the vast majority of these drownings occur in a swimming pool.
Consider this staggering statistic: For every child who drowns in a pool accident, another five will require emergency care for nonfatal submersion injuries.
Just a few simple preventative actions can prevent accidents, and most importantly, save lives. Listed below are ten important tips and reminders to help everyone stay cool and safe this summer.
- Provide constant supervision. At least one adult should always be supervising the pool completely undistracted and within reach of the pool at all times. You can also encourage a swimming ‘buddy system’ so no one swims alone. Drowning is quick and quiet, so supervisors should always be on high alert.
- Make sure at least one adult knows CPR. In the time it takes for the paramedics to arrive, having someone trained in CPR could be the difference between life and death.
- Clearly mark your pool’s shallow and deep-end depths. Unskilled swimmers could easily find themselves – literally – in over their heads.
- Never dive into water less than six feet deep, and consider using designated signage for your pool if its depths aren’t safe for diving, and the same goes for performing pool ‘tricks’ like flips.
- Stay out of the water for at least 30 minutes after hearing thunder or seeing lightning, a rule that is especially applicable here in Florida when summer afternoon thunderstorms are incredibly common.
- Don’t drink and swim. Swimming while intoxicated is just as reckless as driving drunk.
- Remember that inflatable or foam toys cannot be used as safety devices. If a person is not a strong swimmer, they need a life jacket.
- Know your limits. Especially in the unforgiving Florida heat, exhaustion, overheating, and dehydration can all lead to serious pool accidents so it’s important to know your abilities and limits.
- Check all pool equipment. Inspect ladders, slides, pool lights, diving boards and other pool equipment that could malfunction and cause a serious accident. And until all repairs are complete, don’t allow swimming.
- Clear excess toys. If a toy isn’t being used, it should be cleared from the pool deck.
By following these tips, everyone should be able to safely enjoy the pool this summer. But even with the highest level of precautions, some pool accidents may be unavoidable. If you or someone you know is injured in a swimming pool accident, contact the experienced injury attorneys at Anton Castro Law who are dedicated to ‘Representing Your Best Interests.’