The days in Kentucky are long and hot during the month of August and spending a day at the pool the perfect way to pass the time during the last weeks of summer. Because pool accidents happen every year across the nation familiarizing yourself with some basic water safety standards, especially when heading to the water with little ones, is critical. Here’s what you need to know about staying safe at the pool.
Most Common Pool and Water-Related Accidents in Kentucky
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains data regarding the numbers of reported pool and water-related injuries every year. According to that data, some of the most common water accident and injury types include:
- Drowning and near-drowning incidents are one of the most common types of accidents, and one of the most dangerous. The CDC reports that every day, about 10 people die from unintentional drowning. Amongst young children, drowning and near-drowning-related injuries and death are especially common, and drowning is the second leading cause of death for children between ages one and 14.
- Diving-related injuries. Jumping into shallow water can be dangerous, and can even be deadly when a person dives in head first. Shallow water dives and jumps can result in bone fractures, scrapes, bruises, and soft tissue injuries, as well as more serious injuries, including traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries.
- While crypto, short for cryptosporidium, may not refer to a type of pool accident, but the bacteria is dangerous. According to the CDC, rates of crypto outbreaks linked to swimming pools have doubled since 2014. While most people who contract crypto get sick for a short amount of time but are ultimately OK, the parasite can cause death in the most severe of cases.
- Slip and falls accidents. The walking surfaces surrounding a pool are often wet, and as such, have the potential to be slippery and increase the risk for a slip and fall. Slip and fall accidents can lead to a variety of injury types depending upon the force of the fall, the individual, and the angle of impact. Fractures and soft tissue injuries are common – more severe injuries are possible.
- Heat-related injuries. Spending too much time in the sun and in the heat can be dangerous for your health. Heat stroke is a medical emergency, and could cause death or permanent harm. Heat exhaustion, heat cramps, sunburn, and heat rash are also risks of too much time outside in hot temperatures.
How to Stay Safe at the Pool
Whether you’re heading to the pool on your own, or if you’re going as a way to beat the heat with the kids, there are some things that you can do to make sure that everyone is safe and has a good time. To reduce the risk of the accident and injury types listed above, be sure to always:
- Protect against the sun. Wear sunscreen, cover up, and stay in the shade as much as possible. Be sure to bring plenty of water and stay hydrated. If you start feeling too hot, move indoors or to a cooler location.
- Make sure kids know how to swim. Signing your kids up for swim lessons is one of the best things that you can do to keep them safe. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not recommend that children begin formal swim lessons until after age one,and also reminds parents that swim lessons are not a substitute for supervision in the water.
- Supervise kids in and around water! You should alwayspay attention to your kids when they are in or around water.
- Don’t drink alcohol around water. Alcohol impairs judgement and motor functions, and can increase the risk of a slip and fall or drowning accident. Staying sober around the water is advised.
- Talk to kids about running and diving. Because the surfaces around pools are often wet, kids should always walk-and never run-around water. Unless waters are deep and intended for diving, a person should notenter the water via dive or jump.
Keep Your Family Safe
Sometimes pool accidents happen and there is simply no way to predict or prevent them. When a pool accident is the fault of another party, you may have a cause of action for pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. To learn more, contact our Louisville personal injury attorneys at the Slechter Law Firm for a free consultation. We can be reached at (502) 384-7400 or contact us online.