COVID-19 has put a damper on the fun in the sun this year, but with things finally opening back up, it’s time to kick off your flip-flops and take a long-awaited dip in the pool this summer… if you’re willing to risk it.
Of course, it’s not simply the pandemic that makes swimming in Florida dangerous — though it does add another element. Before you stick your toes in the water this year, here are a few things to keep in mind about the dangers swimming can present, both during and after a pandemic.
Common Injuries in Florida Swimming Pools
There are several ways someone can become injured at a swimming pool, whether public or private. Many of the injuries are minor, such as scrapes from falling, but other injuries can be more serious. Some of these include:
- Broken bones
- Slip and falls on the pool deck of diving boards
- Near-drownings that result in permanent injuries
- A broken neck or spinal cord damage from diving
- Death by drowning
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that drowning is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. Of course, right now in the U.S., COVID-19 is the leading cause of death – and that adds a whole new dimension to safety at swimming pools.
Florida Pool Safety During a Pandemic
The good news about swimming and the coronavirus is the CDC reports that COVID-19 isn’t likely to be spread through water in hot tubs, pools, or spas. As long as chlorine and bromine are used to properly disinfect, the virus should be killed by the water.
However, there is a chance for community spread at pools outside of the water. That is why the CDC has offered some important advice about how to stay safe when poolside this year.
According to the CDC, in public venues such as a public pool or water park, you should:
Keep Your Hands Clean
Patrons, along with staff, should wash their hands frequently and make sure to cover their mouths and noses when coughing or sneezing. After coughing or sneezing, hands should immediately be washed or disinfected.
Wear Face Coverings
Mask use is encouraged, but they shouldn’t be worn in the water. Why? Because a wet face mask can pose a danger since it can make it more difficult to breathe.
Outside of the pool, though, keep your mask handy. When it’s difficult to practice appropriate social distancing, then it’s very important to wear a mask.
If you are sick, even if it’s not a confirmed case of COVID-19, then it’s important to stay home so you don’t risk making others sick.
Can You Sue for COVID-19 after Swimming?
If you do venture out to a public pool, beach, or waterpark this summer and get sick with COVID-19, can you sue?
While COVID-19 is relatively new, personal injury cases are not. In personal injury law, the plaintiff needs to prove that the person they’re suing passed the infection on to them. Unfortunately, this is something that is incredibly difficult to prove due to how easily it is spread in the community.
Floridians: Swimming or Not, Stay Safe and Healthy This Summer
Swimming in Florida can be a dangerous activity. From finding a baby alligator in your backyard pool to contenting with COVID-19 in public spaces, it’s important to take the measures you can to stay safe and healthy.
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, and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston 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 2011-2020 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite,” recognized by Expertise as one of the 20 Best Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015-2017, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019.