Swimming Pool Risks, Safety & Liability

Pool Risks

The school year is wrapping up. Warmer weather is here. And the time for swim play has arrived. Your kids will soon be begging to go to the pool.

Unfortunately, that day of fun can turn scary quickly if safety measures aren’t in place. Safety is not just about behavior and actions, but also supervision and maintenance of the pool.

So, what do you need to know before they head out for a day of fun in the water?

Know the risks.

The biggest concern and risk is that of drowning. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “Every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States.”

  • Even when rescued, a near-drowning incident can lead to oxygen loss causing brain damage or a permanent disability requiring expensive medical treatment.
  • Slipping and falling on a pool’s deck or hitting your head while diving can result in serious injuries such as damage to the brain or spinal cord and fractures.
  • Swimming pool drains are another source of potential danger. Damage to the soft tissue and internal organs can be caused by a defective drain’s suction.

Take safety precautions.

Whether the pool is at a best friend’s house or is a community or public pool such as a recreation center, take some swimming pool safety measures.

  • Ensure you and your children have had formal swim lessons
  • Require supervision at the pool
  • Wear appropriate life jackets or swim safety equipment
  • Find out if someone who knows CPR will be in attendance
  • Use the buddy system even when at a friend’s house

What if the unthinkable happens and your child is seriously injured?

Unfortunately, tragedy can happen anywhere and at any time. “A child can drown in less than five minutes. It takes only two inches of water and it can happen in complete silence.” ConsumerAffairs.com

Many swimming pool accidents happen because pool owners haven’t complied with all the standards for construction, maintenance, and supervision of the pool.

Under premises liability, a pool’s owner could be held liable due to negligence or failing to take proper precautions. Stated broadly, a pool owner’s duty is to make the pool reasonably safe for anticipated use. For instance:

  • Pools open to the public are typically required to do a reasonable job in maintaining and repairing the pool so that those using it are not injured.
  • When it comes to young children, owners need to prevent access to the pool so that these youngsters can’t get to the pool.

Bottom line, know the risks and be sure to take safety precautions before hitting the swimming pool.

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Swimming pool accidents: In the blink of an eye, tragedy can strike

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