What Causes Swimming Pool Injuries?
Summer is finally here, and it is officially swimming pool season. As the weather heats up, many of us enjoy going to the local pool to relax and cool off. Many people also enjoy swimming laps and using pools for exercise and sports. Unfortunately, however, with the return of pool season, there is often a sharp increase in swimming-pool related injuries.
Though fun, swimming pools and their surroundings pose a variety of safety risks. From slip and fall accidents to head injuries, an accident at the swimming pool can have catastrophic, even fatal, consequences. Unfortunately, many of these injuries and fatalities involve children.
Common swimming pool injuries include:
- Diving injuries
- Diving board injuries
- Head injuries
- Entrapment and entanglement injuries
- Pool slide injuries
- Pool toy-related injuries
- Slip and fall injuries
- Electrocution injuries
- Drowning and near-drowning
Frequently swimming pool injuries are caused by inadequate supervision and negligent design of pool facilities. Other factors contributing to pool injuries include insufficient training of pool employees, instructors, responsible adults, etc., improper barriers around pools to keep children out, and lack of necessary lifeguards on duty.
Swimming Pool Safety Tips
If you plan to spend time at the pool this summer, whether a public pool, gym pool, or a friend's private pool, you should spend some time reviewing important pool safety guidelines. Below we've provided three helpful safety tips, as well as guidance on what to do if you or a loved one is injured while at the pool.
#1: Never Consumer Alcohol While at the Pool
A frequent contributing factor to pool injuries and accidental drownings is alcohol. If you are going to spend time at the pool, you should avoid consuming alcohol before or during your pool time. This is especially important if you are responsible for the safety of children and others. Being impaired can dull your senses and inhibit your reaction times in a crisis. It can also cause you to be more distracted and unable to respond adequately to an emergency.
#2: Never Leave Children Unattended Around Pools and Hot Tubs
Even if your child is a strong swimmer, it is important that they are never left unattended around bodies of water. When it is your responsibility to watch children at the pool or around other bodies of water, that should be your focus. Avoid doing other things like reading or texting. Accidents can happen in an instant and without warning.
Similarly, you should not rely solely on lifeguards. While lifeguards are critical to pool safety, they cannot be in all places at once, and they aren't guaranteed to have total visibility. Other pool-goers may block their view, or their chairs may not be high enough to give them a full view of the entire pool area.
#3: Make Sure Your Pool or Hot Tub Has Appropriate Covers, Gates, & Alarms
If you own a pool or hot tub, there is a lot you can do to help prevent pool accidents. Installing locking gates around the pool area can help keep children and unsupervised visitors out of the pool area. In fact, Iowa law requires that pools be enclosed by a fence at least four feet high. These laws also stipulate that pool fences should be made of materials that toddlers cannot easily scale and that they do not have gaps big enough for a small child to fit through.
Similarly, pools and hot tubs themselves should all have locking covers that prevent access. Lastly, you should consider installing alarms either on doors that lead to the pool area or into the pool area itself to alert you to someone accessing the area.
What to Do If You Are Injured at a Pool
If you are injured while at a pool, you should first and foremost seek medical attention. Once you have received medical care, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. While you may have health insurance, you cannot rely on the insurance company to ensure you receive the care you need. Furthermore, if someone else's negligence caused your accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
An attorney can help you seek compensation for:
- Emergency medical care costs
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
- Long-term care costs
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
At Hope Law Firm, our attorneys are highly experienced in handling all types of personal injury cases, including swimming pool injuries. We are prepared to help you with your case. Contact our law firm today to schedule a consultation.