Now that school is out here in South Florida, more and more kids will be swimming and splashing around in pools to beat the summer heat.
Nothing feels better than a cool pool on a hot day, but even if your kids are strong swimmers and used to spending time in the water, there are still pool dangers you should pay attention to this summer that could potentially cause accidents.
Common Pool Dangers to Watch Out For
Along with teaching your kids proper pool safety, you should also teach them to avoid these potential pool hazards:
Pool filters. Pool filters are necessary to keep the pool clean, but swimming too close to them can be dangerous.
While on vacation at a beach resort, Alex Morgan’s daughter Darcey was trapped underwater for two minutes after her hair got stuck in a pool filter. “Her hair was pulled and pulled before it was ripped,” Morgan wrote in a Facebook post. She went on to say Darcey was unconscious and needed CPR when she was finally freed from the pool.
As a parent, this situation is horrifying, but teaching your kids to stay away from pool filters and drains while swimming is crucial to staying safe. Also, you should inspect the filter and drain covers to make sure they’re not missing, broken, or damaged, and, if they are, don’t let your kids swim.
Drowning. In 2012, drowning was the leading cause of death for Florida children aged 1-4 years old, the highest in the nation. While drowning is one of the most common child injuries, it’s also the most preventable.
Teach your children how to swim at an early age in order to reduce the potential for a drowning incident. Have kids wear a life jacket if they’re inexperienced swimmers or will be spending time on a boat, raft, or other watercraft.
Also, don’t assume kids can’t be drowning victims even if they know how to swim. Make sure kids are constantly supervised when playing in the water, and install a fence around home pools to ensure kids can’t accidentally fall in.
Wet surfaces. When kids are swimming, it seems as if nothing can stay dry. Whether they’re cannonballing into the water or splashing their friends, the pool water just doesn’t seem to want to stay in the pool. For this reason, it’s important to remind kids that running is not allowed when they’re swimming.
Wet surfaces can take anyone by surprise, but a slip and fall can be especially dangerous near a pool. If you’re lucky, kids might experience only minor injuries like cuts and scrapes from a fall. However, something more serious – like broken bones or a head injury – can just as easily happen when playing next to water.
Chemical irritation. Chlorine and other chemicals are necessary in pools to keep them safe and clear of bacteria, but too many chemicals can be toxic to kids. Pool chemicals can irritate and dry skin, eyes, and ears. They can also aggravate airways and cause asthma to flare up.
Pay attention to the smell of the pool. You should be able to notice if a pool has been overloaded with too many chemicals, but if your kids complain that their eyes sting or they’re getting skin rashes, get them out of the pool immediately and rinse off the pool water. Depending on the severity of the reaction, you might want to take them to a doctor as well.
Regardless of these pool hazards, though, your kids can still enjoy swimming as long as you teach them proper water safety and keep a watchful eye. If something does happen, and your child is seriously injured in a pool accident, get them to a doctor and consider reaching out to a Florida child injury attorney to see if you might be entitled to damages for your ordeal.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s “Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.