And How Can I Prevent Them?
Swimming pools provide a great summer activity, but they also create the potential for injuries, including drowning, near drowning, slips, trips, and falls, entrapment or entanglement, electric shock injuries, and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
Fortunately, most swimming pool accidents are preventable, and there are steps you can take to enjoy the pool safely. We’ll go into the most common swimming pool injuries – and how to prevent them – below:
Drowning and Near Drowning
Drowning is a type of suffocation that happens when water or other liquid fills the lungs. Not all drownings are fatal, but nonfatal drownings (or near-drownings) can result in costly hospital stays and long-term health problems.
To prevent drownings, make sure you and your loved ones know how to swim. Always swim with a buddy and supervise children closely when they are around water. Avoid drinking alcohol or using drugs and prescription medications in the pool area or before swimming.
If you own a pool, make sure it is fenced in – even if you do not have children. This way, neighborhood children will not be able to access the pool without your permission.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Pool decks are slippery surfaces and falling on tile or concrete can cause serious injuries. Worse, if you fall and hit your head or fall into the water, you could drown.
To reduce your risk of slips, trips, and falls, walk slowly around the pool and avoid horseplay on the pool deck. Wear sandals with good traction when you aren’t in the pool and use handrails when appropriate.
Pool owners can also take steps to help prevent slips, trips, and falls, like installing a surface with traction, keeping decks and walkways clean and clear of tripping hazards (lounge chairs, toys, etc.), and maintaining steps, ladders, and surfaces.
Entrapment or Entanglement
Pool drains can suck in a swimmer’s hair, jewelry, or body parts and trap them underwater. Because the pressure on many pool drains is so high, pool drains can even suck out organs if an orifice gets stuck.
To avoid suction entrapment, swim away from pool drains. If you own a pool, install a drain cover to keep swimmers safe.
Pool toys also present an entrapment or entanglement risk, so be careful with them and never depend on an inflatable pool toy to keep you afloat. Do not play with pool toys if you are not a strong swimmer.
Electric Shock Injuries
You can get electrocuted in a swimming pool if an electrical current is released into the water or you touch an electrical appliance while you are in the pool.
Pool owners must make sure their wiring systems are working correctly and install ground-fault circuit interrupters for nearby outlets and circuits. Whether you own the pool you are swimming in or not, never bring electrical appliances into the water – and do not use extension cords in the pool area.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Swimming produces a pleasurable feeling of weightlessness, and everyone loves jumping into the water. Still, hitting your head on the bottom of the pool or another hard surface can cause traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and other serious head injuries.
Never jump or dive into shallow water, and exercise caution on diving boards and pool slides. To avoid slipping or tripping and hitting your head, move carefully in the pool area.
Diving Board and Water Slide Injuries
Diving boards and swimming pool slides should only be installed near water that is deep enough to enter headfirst, and they should always be in good working condition.
Always go down water slides feet first, and do not use a diving board that is broken or in shallow water. Keep in mind that diving boards can be slippery, as well, and falling off a diving board can lead to serious injuries. Only use diving boards and pool slides if you are a strong swimmer, and make sure there is a lifeguard on duty – or that you have a buddy who can call for help if something goes wrong.
What If I Get Hurt at a Pool?
Public and private pool owners are responsible for maintaining safe swimming pools and making reasonable efforts to control access to their pools.
If you or your child gets hurt at someone else’s swimming pool, the injury may be the result of the pool owner’s negligence.
Try to think about what went wrong and how your injury could have been prevented by the swimming pool owner’s care or attention – and call a local attorney to discuss your rights and legal options.
Our team at Palmisano & Goodman, P.A. is backed by over 100+ combined years of experience, and we have recovered millions of dollars for clients like you.
Tell us about your case during a free consultation and let us help you move forward – there are no fees unless we win.
Call us at (732) 709-4400 or contact us online to get started today.