Taking a dip in a lake or a pool is a great way to beat the summer heat, but safety must be the first priority of every swimmer. Drowning is the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 1 and 4, but not all drownings are fatal – and not all water-related injuries are related to drowning. Today, we wanted to look at some of the primary causes of swimming pool injuries, so you know what to avoid in order to keep you and your kids safe.
Swimming pool injury #1: oxygen deprivation and drowning-related injuries
It only takes a few minutes before lack of oxygen leads to brain cell death. Once you reach the 6-to-10 minute range, the brain damage can be irreversible. Small children and adults alike can easily slip below the surface of the water in an instant, become disoriented, and be unable to find their way back up.
Aside from wearing a life vest or approved safety gear, you can help reduce these types of injuries by avoiding:
- Murky or cloudy water
- Overcrowding in the pool
- The slope in the pool where it begins to increase in depth
- Swimming at night in an unlit pool
- Going near drains or built-in filter systems, to avoid being entrapped
Swimming pool injury #2: brain and spinal trauma
Oxygen deprivation can lead to permanent brain damage, but it is the not the only way to be critically injured in a pool. Diving boards in particular pose a serious threat, even if a pool meets the code for the depth. This is because most people do not dive straight up and down, but out. Because of this, the point at which you hit the bottom of the pool is physically higher and closer than the deepest part. Hitting on this angle can damage vertebrae or the spinal column. It can also lead to brain injuries or permanent brain damage.
Not installing a diving board is one way to avoid this issue, of course, but you may wish to take extra precautions to keep people from diving into the pool. Posting “No Diving” signs and depth markers can help protect swimmers.
Swimming pool injury #3: broken bones and sprains
We are willing to bet that, at some point, a parent of adult told you to stop running around a pool – and now here you are, telling your children the very same thing. Trips, slips, and falls, especially on wet ground, can easily lead to broken bones and sprains. Another cause of broken bones are unlocked or improperly locked above-ground pool ladders. If the ladder isn’t latched, it can crush fingers and toes.
To help keep visitors safe in and out of the pool, you can:
- Ensure are ladders and fences are securely locked
- Install lights around the perimeter of the pool, so that walkways are brightly lit
- Remove any “bulky” design elements that can cause people to trip (like decorative rocks, or pavers which stick up out of the ground)
What happens if I am hurt while using someone else’s pool?
If you sustain injuries while swimming in someone else’s pool, you may be able to claim compensation for those injuries through the homeowners’ insurance policy, or by filing a premises liability claim. Water injuries can be incredibly serious, and the damages you are awarded will pay for your medical expenses, and help offset any additional losses you suffer while you are out of work.
At Wagner & Wagner, we want you to enjoy your summer, and to have as much fun as you can splashing around in a pool – but we also want you to be safe. If you or your child does sustain an injury, our team of Chattanooga pool injury lawyers can help you navigate the waters of seeking compensation, so you can get back to life as you know it. For help with a premises liability claim, or to learn more about our services, please call 423-799-3532 or complete our contact form. We proudly represent clients in North Georgia, Chattanooga, Cleveland, and the surrounding areas.