For most families, the public pool is a summer staple. It’s a place where our families can make memories, socialize, and cool off from the sweltering summer heat. But, with the coronavirus ever-changing our daily normal, that may all change.
Recently it was announced that public pools would be allowed to reopen come mid-June here in St. Louis. In what capacity, we’re unsure. Some cities are choosing to stay closed while others are waiting on government guidelines to help them to decide on how to open and what restrictions to set in place. Even with this news, many families may elect to avoid the local public watering hole and choose an alternative way to stay cool so they can still practice social distancing.
Regardless of where you choose to swim, it’s always good to practice water safety, especially when children are present. According to the CDC, unintentional drowning is the 5th leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 14.* Pool injury and drowning can be avoided simply by being aware and following these safety tips:
- Never leave a child unattended in or near water. This may seem like a no brainer, but even the most responsible adult can become distracted, become overconfident in a child’s swimming ability, or place too much trust in a floatation device. Drowning is quick and quiet, so it’s essential to avoid distractions and be alert at all times.
- Never swim alone. Accidents can occur to anyone at any time. Use the buddy system or make sure a lifeguard is present while you swim.
- Don’t rely on water wings, noodles, or other floatation devices not approved by the United States Coast Guard (USCG). Your kids may love the cartoon characters on their water wings or playing games with pool noodles, but they can be a recipe for serious injury or death in a pool. A USCG floatation device can easily be found online or at your local sporting goods store/department. To learn more, visit https://www.dco.uscg.mil/CG-ENG-4/PFDSel/.
- Install a 5-foot fence and gate alarms. Having a fence and gate/pool alarms can help keep unwanted visitors from entering your pool, reducing the risk for a personal injury accident. It’s essential to check with your local state, city, or county regarding the construction and maintenance of residential pools. Negligence in complying with these ordinances is an invitation for accidents and may make proving fault easier in a personal injury claim.
- Avoid consuming too much alcohol. Swimming while buzzed/drunk can be as dangerous as driving drunk. Be aware of your alcohol consumption and others who are around you. Doing so could save a life.
- Know CPR. Having at least one adult or lifeguard on duty who is trained in CPR can help save a life after an accident occurs. To find out how and where you can become CPR certified, contact the American Red Cross https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/cpr/cpr-training/cpr-certification.
Most pool accidents are truly accidents. All persuasions were taken, and no one is at fault. However, sometimes they are the result of negligence on the part of a homeowner, pool Management Company or even a lifeguard. If you or a family member is involved in a swimming pool accident, contact Finney Injury Law at (314)293-4222. Our team will provide you a free case evaluation and help you determine if your case was the result of negligence. We will work with you and help you find the justice you deserve.