When the weather gets warm, people look forward to enjoying time in the swimming pool. However, many people don’t stop to think about the dangers that swimming pools can present. On average nine people drown in the United States every day. Also, for every drowning death, there can be as many as four nonfatal accidents that require hospitalization.
So while swimming pools can be very fun, it is important to remember these swimming pool safety tips:
• Never leave children unsupervised, even if they know how to swim.
• Always keep a phone by the pool so that you can easily call 911 if there is an accident or emergency.
• Learn CPR.
• Keep toys away from the pool when you’re not using it so that children are not tempted to go too near the water.
• Cover the pool completely when it’s not in use.
• Don’t run near the pool, and don’t allow horseplay.
• Keep basic lifesaving equipment, such as ropes, poles, and flotation devices, nearby.
• Never dive if you don’t know the pool’s depth, and don’t dive if the pool is less than 6’ deep.
• Don’t swim during thunderstorms.
If a child is missing, be sure to check the swimming pool right away. Seconds can save a life in a drowning death, and drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children ages 1-4. It is the second highest cause of accidental death among children ages 1-14.
Remember, portable pools can be just as dangerous as in-ground pools. Also, putting up a four-sided fence around a pool so that it is entirely separated from the house can decrease accidental swimming pool deaths by 50-90%.
It is important to note that there are swimming pool laws that must be followed. The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (2007) requires that certain safety measures be taken in order to ensure public safety. This is a federal law that applies to all states. Requirements include:
• Anti-entrapment drain covers that meet federal standards
• Fences/barriers that meet federal standards
• Education about drowning prevention — Colin’s Hope is a group that works towards prevention in Austin.
Incentives are also provided through a grant program that allows states to implement and enforce these laws. Visit this link for comprehensive information on federal swimming pool requirements and consumer protections.
In addition to federal laws, the Texas Administrative Code sets standards for public pools and spas.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a swimming pool accident, contact Shefman Law as soon possible. Even if you are unsure if you have a case, do not hesitate to call us. Initial consultations are free, and there is no obligation.
As always, Shefman Law works on a contingency fee basis. This means we do not get paid unless you do, and you will not have to pay anything up front.