Almost everyone enjoys a good swim but swimming pools can actually be relatively dangerous places if you don’t take the right precautions. Here we take a look at some of the most common incidents and accidents that you can have in and around a swimming pool, as well as providing tips and advice on how to avoid them.
It is something that every parent worries about – what happens if their child falls into a swimming pool and can’t swim? Young children are especially at risk around swimming pools, especially if they are not yet older enough to understand the dangers of falling in water. And, of course, while this is not something that you can ever rule out entirely, there are many steps that you can take to make it much less likely to occur.
Firstly, every swimming pool should have some sort of fence or barrier around its vicinity. This acts as a natural first defence against being able to fall into the pool. The barrier should be tall enough that small children who don’t understand the dangers should not be able to climb over them. And if there is a door, this should have a lock.
Additionally, supervising children at all times when they are around the pool is an essential part of reducing this possibility.
Falling through the cover
Interestingly, many pool owners attempt to believe that they have remedied the possibility of people falling in by having a cover. However, this is not always correct, and in fact in some cases a cover can actually make a pool more dangerous. For example, if a child doesn’t realise that they are stepping onto a cover they can potentially get sucked underneath – escaping from a tangled pool cover can be difficult even for adults.
It is important then, to make sure that you are investing in the right kind of swimming pool cover. An automatic, slatted cover, for example, can actually support the weight of a child (some are even able to support the weight of an adult). If you are looking into having a pool installed, make sure that you have an effective cover installed.
Diving into a shallow area
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people to suffer very significant injuries because they dive into the shallow end of a swimming pool. When someone lands on their head and neck with the full weight of their body from a jumping position, the result can be devastating, and many individuals have suffer irreversible and sometimes life-threatening spinal cord injuries from doing so.
You might think that this possibility is unlikely, but if someone is not familiar with your swimming pool it could happen. It is important then, to make sure that the depth of the water is clearly signposted and that if the water is not safe for diving, this fact is indicated. Additionally make sure that you provide this information to anyone who is new to your pool – especially if they have a propensity to dive in swimming pools.
Not all swimming pool accidents occur in the water and probably actually by far the most common swimming related injuries occur when people fall over in the slippery surface around the pool. A slippery and hard surface is naturally a very bad combination, and broken bones and head injuries are not uncommon.
The best way to remedy this is at the design stage – think about the areas around the pool and choose a material that is not slippery when wet, such as wood. Additionally, you should make sure that the pool area has drainage.
Illness from the water
It’s something that many of us don’t even think about when using a swimming pool, but the water can be breeding ground for bacteria and this can lead to illness if the water quality and safety is not managed properly.
It is important to ensure, then, that you clean your pool properly and use the right balance of chemicals. Failing to do so can make your swimming a genuinely dangerous place to swim. And on another note, if you can smell chlorine coming off the water this is generally a bad thing. That smell doesn’t come from the chemicals, but from a chemical reaction between the chlorine and the nitrogen found in human sweat and urine.