Unfortunately, many people are killed or seriously hurt each year in pool accidents. The majority of these individuals are children. If you’re in charge of a public pool or you have one in your backyard, then there are several things you may want to do to prevent a person from getting hurt or killed in yours.
Wet and Slick Ground
Even though there are many precautions trying to stop people from slipping and falling around pools, it still happens. Wet concrete and other materials should always be something that children and adults should be cautious around. Slip Resistant Solutions explains, “the standard required coefficient of friction is generally 0.60, but many times that is truly the base requirement. Additional coefficient of friction is required for true safety and concern. Even bumping the coefficient of friction up to 0.75 or 0.80 makes a significant improvement.” When people get careless or feel overly safe walking on wet floors is when accidents tend to happen the most. Put up signs warning about slick areas or places that tend to get more slippery. You can also put down mats around the pool or in those areas to decrease the chance of slipping and falling.
Rescue Equipment Absent
Many private and public pools don’t have needed rescue equipment in accessible locations. A great place to start is with a pool alarm that tells you when someone nears the pool. Tower explains, “shepherd’s crooks, rescue tubes, and ropes should be near the pool at all times. Additionally, there should be a good first aid kit near the pool that includes CPR masks. Floatation devices are a must for larger children or for adults.” If you’re going to supervise children at a pool, then make sure you know how to properly use this equipment. You should also have first aid training.
Unfortunately, some swimming pools still don’t have effective barriers around them. Many states have passed legislation to ensure that all pools have proper barriers and covers in place. Home pools should have child-proof fencing around them. According to Hipskind & McAninch, “public pools are also required to be completely enclosed by a protective enclosure that is at least four feet high, does not have a vertical clearance beneath the bottom of the barrier greater than four inches, and has no openings larger than four inches.” Remember that public pools and private pools should have barriers of some kind to prevent accidents.
Not Using the Buddy System
Teaching the buddy system is a great way to help increase pool safety. Instilling this idea when the child is young is a great way to start. That way, there’s always someone there to get help if trouble ensues. Fall City Fire 27 explains, “swimming alone is never a good idea regardless of the person’s age. This is especially true if swimming in non-pool environments. That being said, too many underestimate how dangerous home pools can be because they feel safe.” Additionally, make sure to stay hydrated when the weather is warm. Cramps happen more often when a person is dehydrated and may interfere with a person’s ability to swim. Make sure that everyone knows that it’s essential to walk in the pool area. If someone is present who can’t swim, then make sure that he or she stays well away from the water so that he or she can’t accidentally get pushed in. No one should swim if he or she is taking medication that makes him or her drowsy.
Keeping a child safe around water starts with teaching the child to swim early. You should also make sure that you have rescue equipment accessible in the pool area because you never know when something bad may happen. Regardless of age, it’s never a wise move to swim alone.