A swimming pools is a great place to relax and exercise during the warmer months, but any swimming pool carries a risk of injury. It’s important to know the most common causes of swimming pool injuries to avoid them. It is also vital to know your options for legal recourse in case negligence or an intentional, harmful act causes a swimming pool injury.
Know Your Ability Level
Some of the most common swimming injuries are drowning-related injuries. People who swim in deep water without the proper ability level may start to drown, and even short-term oxygen deprivation can result in catastrophic injuries. One of the best ways to prevent swimming pool injuries is to remain in water shallow enough for you to navigate safely. If you are not a strong swimmer, it’s probably best to stay where your feet are able to touch the bottom of the pool.
It is essential to always supervise children in or near swimming pools. Even older children who may be strong swimmers can sustain serious injuries from slips and falls or jumping into shallow water. Toddlers should never go near a pool without supervision as even small “kiddie” pools present a drowning hazard. A toddler who falls headfirst into a pool may not have the strength or coordination to escape.
Obey Pool Rules
If you visit a community swimming pool or are a member of a swimming club with a private pool, be sure to read the pool rules carefully and always abide by them. Some pool owners may argue that an injury is the victim’s fault for failing to heed posted warnings. In some cases, this can be true, but pool owners must still ensure their properties do not pose any unreasonable risks to lawful visitors and patrons.
The drains at the bottom of most swimming pools create tremendous suction. All swimmers, especially small children, should avoid swimming near pool drains. Drains can catch articles of swimwear or a child’s feet. They also present a rare but possible risk of disembowelment. For example, sitting on a pool drain could cause the rectum to rupture, followed by disembowelment.
Avoiding Diving in Shallow Water
Many swimmers enjoy diving and jumping into the pool, but it’s important to do so only in deep water. Jumping into shallow water is very dangerous and can result in broken bones or other injuries. Diving in headfirst is even more dangerous and can easily cause a traumatic brain injury. It’s also possible for a blow to the head to knock a diver unconscious, leaving him or her likely to drown if no assistance is nearby.
Know Your Legal Options
Many situations can lead to swimming pool injuries, and when these injuries happen due to negligence, victims need to know their options. If a pool owner was negligent in his or her care of a pool, or a pool hired an unqualified or unfit lifeguard who failed to properly supervise the pool, an injured victim in a swimming pool accident may have grounds for a personal injury claim.
It’s possible for a swimming pool accident to result in catastrophic injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, and brain damage from oxygen deprivation. If negligent supervision or pool care causes such an accident, the victim should contact a reliable personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help the injured victim in a swimming pool accident determine liability for the incident, gather evidence to build a strong personal injury claim, and help the client secure compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages from a swimming pool injury.