With the rising temperatures of summer, many Americans will opt to beat the heat by heading to their local swimming pool for a refreshing dip. Whether this is in their own backyard, a local community pool, or a city public facility, swimming pools are usually easily accessible, frequently visited, and also carry a certain level of risk that must be taken seriously. All swimming pools carry danger of drowning and other injuries, meaning property owners should take a few necessary precautions to limit their liability before opening the doors of their pool to guests. Here are a few quick tips to prepare your pool for the increased use of summer.
Install Proper Safety Features
The American Red Cross has emphasized that the most important feature to any pool property, especially home pools, is a proper barrier around the pool area to prevent young children from gaining access to this area without permission or supervision. This barrier should be at least five feet high and have a gate with a latch that is well out of the reach of these young children. This barrier should also not be easy to climb. This is particularly important, as failure to secure the pool area could lead to a lawsuit under the attractive nuisance doctrine even if the injured party was trespassing.
Inside the pool barrier, proper lifesaving devices should be easily accessible at a moment’s notice. Equipment such as a life preserver and telescoping hook are mandatory by law at public pools, but are also highly advisable for home pools as well. Inspect these devices at the beginning of the summer season to make sure they are in good working order and replace them if necessary.
Enforce Pool Rules
We’ve all been scolded by a lifeguard not to run around a pool at some point in our lives; it’s part of growing up. But lifeguards have a good reason for doing so—slip and fall incidents are one of the leading causes of injury at a pool facility. A wet pool deck is a slippery pool deck, and running greatly increases that risk. Whether you are in charge of a public pool facility or own a pool as part of your home, be sure to enforce this rule to ensure the safety of all of your guests.
Also make sure to indicate where it is safe to dive into the water and strictly enforce a no-diving rule in shallow water areas. While public pools are required by law to indicate the depth of the water at various points around the pool’s edge, home pools are free from this law. Therefore, home pool owners should make guests aware of water depth and indicate where it is safe to dive, if at all.
Never Swim Alone
The “buddy system” is invaluable for swimmers, as a fellow swimmer could save your life in the event of an accident that could result in drowning. For public pools, particularly larger facilities, having a certified lifeguard trained in first aid and CPR on duty for the operating hours of the pool can be invaluable, and in many cases lifeguards are required by law at public facilities. For home pool owners, lifeguards are not required, but it is important that property owners maintain constant supervision over their pool area while it is in use.
Know CPR and First Aid Procedures
Knowing and being able to properly administer CPR in an emergency is not required to own a pool, but all owners are highly encouraged to possess this lifesaving skill. Should an accident happen, CPR can not only save a victim’s life but can severely reduce the possibility of any lingering or lasting after effects of the incident. First-aid could also help with any other minor injuries like scrapes or slips and falls. Keep a stocked first aid kit on site to help reduce the effect of infections or other bad effects of major injuries.
Sico, Hoelscher, Harris & Braugh, LLP is an experienced personal injury law firm. With offices located in Corpus Christi, Texas; Houston, Texas; and Pasadena, California, our skilled team of attorneys serve clients all across the United States and have accrued a profound record of success. Our team has recorded the single largest verdict in U.S. history as well as the largest recovery in the Texas state history. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a drowning accident, let us fight on your behalf.
Call Sico, Hoelscher, Harris & Braugh LLP today at 877.631.9965 or contact us online and request an appointment for a free, confidential case evaluation.