Avoiding Arizona Pool Accidents This Summer
Cooling down in Arizona’s desert heat this summer might mean going for a swim at the local public pool, a friend’s swimming pool, or your private one. Where ever you swim, do so safely; swimming pool accidents are surprisingly prevalent. Drowning is the fifth-leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Protect yourself, your kids, and others while swimming this summer by following these four easy safety tips.
Maintain Your Swimming Pool
Poorly maintained swimming pools can pose serious dangers to swimmers. Even experienced, adult pool goers can suffer injuries and die because of lack of pool maintenance. One of the most common hazards is a broken or missing drain cover. Missing drain covers can mean a drain that’s too powerful – and the risk of getting hair, swimming gear, or limbs stuck in the drain at the bottom of the pool. Other maintenance-related risks can include:
- Unsafe levels of chlorine and pool chemicals
- Unreasonably slippery deck surfaces
- Broken glass or debris in and around pools
- Growth of dangerous mold or algae in the water
- Missing or faded warning signs (e.g., “No Diving” signs)
- Broken, sharp, or protruding pool tiles
It is the owner of the pool’s legal duty to keep a swimming pool safe for swimmers at all times. If you’re not the owner, do not assume the owner has done his or her duty. Instead, check the pool yourself before jumping in or permitting your children to swim. Look for signs of neglect, lack of maintenance, or a dangerous property. Take your concerns to the owner or manager to help prevent incidents.
Supervise Children at All Times
It only takes a few seconds for a child’s head to slip under the surface. Have a responsible (not-drinking) adult in charge of supervising children who are swimming at all times. Going inside for just a few minutes to prepare a snack, taking a phone call away from the pool area, or focusing too much on your phone can all be enough to miss signs of a child drowning. Supervise the pool in shifts if you’re throwing a pool party with other adults around. Make sure all children have proper safety gear, whether they can swim or not.
Put Up a Proper Barrier
Another important way to keep children safe from swimming pool accidents is to make sure you’ve installed the necessary barriers to prevent wandering or curious children from falling in your pool. Put up a fence, pool cover, gate, alarm system, and/or other measures to lower the risk of these types of incidents. It is your legal obligation as a pool owner to protect visitors from accidents – even trespassers to your pool if they are children.
Taking a dip can be the perfect way to cool down and relax in Phoenix, but that doesn’t mean throwing caution to the wind. Prevent accidents by doing your part to swim smartly and safely. This can mean taking the following actions and responsibilities seriously:
- Keep your pool deck free from toys and trip hazards
- Never dive into shallow waters
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol
- Stay out of pools during lightning storms
- Make sure someone knows how to perform CPR
- Use the buddy system (even for adult swimmers)
- Know your limits in terms of pool tricks and dives
Swimming is fun, but it’s also a health and safety risk. Never forget the very real possibility of drowning while swimming or letting your children swim. By following a few simple safety tips, you can greatly decrease the odds of suffering a drowning or other swimming pool accident this summer. Follow these tips to be a safer swimmer, pool owner, and party host.
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