Although every summer we like to publish a blog on the importance of pool safety, this year is probably the most important summer to be safe. In the midst of this pandemic, many families are spending more time in their backyards than any other summer. With school being out, and many public places being closed, households with swimming pools are taking full advantage by trying to have as much summer fun as possible in the safety of their backyard.
When it comes to swimming pools and the coronavirus, the CDC has also made this statement. “Currently, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can spread to people through recreational water . However, it is important to limit close contact with people outside of your home when visiting public pools, hot tubs, and water playgrounds as well as natural bodies of water—like beaches and lakes —to slow the spread of COVID-19.” In addition to wanting to be safe from the virus, steps can be made to ensure the prevention of drowning or serious injury for your family. With heightened use of the pool, there is a heightened risk of catastrophe if safety isn’t considered.
Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death for children between the ages of 1-4 years old. Fortunately, the number of drowning deaths has decreased over the years because parents are more informed on how to create a safe swimming environment for their children. Making sure your child does have basic swim skills is the best way to prevent drowning in the pool.
If someone in your family isn’t a comfortable swimmer, US Coast Guard approved life jackets should be used. Additionally, young children should not be swimming unsupervised. If something were to happen, you would want an adult who can swim to be able to respond right away.
Pool chemicals, like chlorine, are needed to protect swimmers’ health. However, mishandling pool chemicals can cause serious injuries. Pool chemical injuries lead to about 4,500 U.S. hospital visits each year, and over one-third of these preventable injuries are in children or teens. There’s an abundance of tests you can use to make sure your chemicals are safe. Even if you hire someone else to do the chemicals in your pool, it is still good to double-check the chemical levels yourself so you know it is safe for your children. The ranges of chlorine (or bromine if you use that instead) should be:
If the pH is too high or too low, it can cause problems, including decreasing chlorine’s or bromine’s ability to kill germs. It can also cause skin and eye irritation in swimmers and damage pool pipes and other equipment. Additionally, chemicals should be stored somewhere where kids cannot reach.
Install fences and barriers around your pool. This is not only a good idea, but it is also usually a requirement in most towns. Pools should always be isolated from the rest of your yard to avoid children accidentally falling into the pool. All gates should be self-closing and there should be no gaps or openings in the fencing.
Learning Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is a really great ability to have that hopefully you’ll never have to use. Rescue measures can help avoid a serious injury and could even be the difference between life and death. If you own a pool or have young children, it’s a really good idea to learn CPR. It takes just a few hours and classes are offered at several places, including the Red Cross.
Steven Palermo is the managing partner for Palermo Law, Long Island’s Personal Injury Law Firm. He has been helping people receive compensation for their injuries for over 21 years. He focuses on cases involving car accidents, truck accidents, construction accidents and slip and fall injuries.
His book The Ultimate Guide to Handling New York Car Accident Claims details the ins and outs of a car accident claim in a simple, easy-to-read manner.