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Top Swimming Pool Hazards

by on June 12, 2014 » Add the first comment.

A swimming pool can become a favorite neighborhood hangout during the summer months, but it is not without its share of responsibility. Both residential and public pools must follow very specific standards in terms of construction and maintenance to ensure the safety of everyone who visits their waters.

In addition, proper supervision is an absolute must to keep all pool guests safe, especially children.  When accidents do happen, Seattle swimming pool accident lawyers can help victims pursue compensation for injuries, medical bills and other economic and non-economic losses that might occur.

Common swimming pool hazards

Staying safe in the pool begins with awareness of the potential dangers lurking within and around those enticing waters. The most common pool hazards include:

  • Drowning
  • Drain entrapments
  • Dangerous chemicals
  • Diving accidents
  • Slip and fall injuries

Preventing drowning

According to the CDC, there was an average of 3,533 fatal drowning accidents occurring annually in the U.S. between 2005 and 2009. That number equated to approximately 10 deaths daily throughout the year. The statistics cited here do not include boating accidents, which resulted in an additional 347 deaths annually.

Approximately 20 percent of those drowning deaths occur in children under the age of 14. Nearly 80 percent of those drowning victims are male. Factors that increase drowning risk include inability to swim, lack of enclosures around pools, lack of supervision and alcohol use. Prevention efforts should include secure barriers around swimming pools and proper supervision, particularly for children.

Proper pool maintenance

Drain entrapments are a frightening pool hazard that traps a body against a pool drain by pure suction force. It can also occur if an article of clothing, piece of jewelry or swimmer’s hair become caught in the drain. The Consumer Products Safety Commission reported 39 victims drain entrapment between 2008 and 2012. Two of those entrapments involving children resulted in fatalities and 32 more led to injuries.

Pool chemicals are another hazard that requires special care by pool owners and operators. While these chemicals are necessary to keep water free of harmful bacteria and other microorganisms, the toxicity of the chemicals requires proper mixing and storage procedures. Chemicals must be stored according to local building and fire codes, and they should only be handled by individuals specially trained in administering those chemicals to the pool water.

Accident prevention

Diving and slip and fall accidents around swimming pools can also be life-changing and even deadly for some victims. More than 7,000 young people in America are victims of diving accidents each year and 90 percent of those occur in residential pools. Alcohol use is involved in some of those accidents, while diving in shallow water is a major contributor. Supervision is essential to preventing diving accidents; ensuring swimmers are not diving in water that is too shallow or using improper diving techniques.

Slip and fall accidents are also common around the wet, slippery confines of a swimming pool. In some cases, these accidents can be catastrophic, resulting in brain or spinal injuries that may have lifetime consequences. Although difficult to prevent entirely, prevention tactics may include keeping pool decks free of debris, supervising children around the pool and carefully secure all pool accessories like ladders, slides and diving boards.

Liability in pool accidents

In Washington, pool owners are responsible for the safe construction, operation and maintenance of their pools. Those who are injured in a swimming pool accident may be entitled to legal compensation from the pool owner for medical bills and other expenses. These complex cases require a team of experienced Seattle swimming pool accident lawyers to determine whether the pool owner was aware of the hazard and whether steps had been taken to minimize the risk for swimmers.

Filing a Washington swimming pool accident lawsuit

The experienced team at Wattel & York understands the serious implications of swimming pool accidents. Our attorneys offer skilled legal advice for those injured and will provide expert representation to ensure your rights are protected and appropriate compensation is pursued. If you have been injured in a swimming pool accident, contact our professional team at 1-877-225-5562 to receive a free evaluation of your case.

Resources:

  1. Pool Safely, Drain Entrapments, http://www.poolsafely.gov/pool-spa-safety/safety-issues/drain-entrapments/
  2. CDC, Recommendations for Preventing Pool Chemical-Associated Injuries, http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/pools/preventing-pool-chemical-injuries.html
  3. Mayo Clinic, Water Safety: Protect Your Child from Drowning, http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/child-safety/art-20044744
  4. CDC, Unintentional Drowning: Get the Facts, http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/water-safety/waterinjuries-factsheet.html
  5. Kraus Back and Neck Institute, Diving and Spinal Cord Injury, http://www.spinehealth.com/blog/index.php/2011/02/21/diving-spinal-cord-injury/
  6. Consumer Affairs, Swimming Pools – Safety is No Accident, http://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/pool_safety.html

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