If you have a swimming pool in your backyard, chances are that you will be taking advantage of it this summer. When the weather gets hot, people look for ways to cool off and what better way than the pool?
Unfortunately, with a pool comes responsibility. As much as you may want to pull up a lounge chair, close your eyes and relax, if you own the pool, it means that you have accepted the responsibility of ensuring everyone’s safety. There are a variety of injuries that can arise from inappropriate behavior in and around the backyard pool: spinal cord injuries, slip and fall injuries and wrongful death are just a few of those.
If you have a pool, it’s important to establish rules not only for your family, but for the visitors you are sure to have. Here are a few basic rules that should be posted near every pool:
Anyone that you welcome into your pool should know how to swim. If someone doesn’t know how to swim, they should not be permitted in the pool without a buddy. At the very least, they should be using a life vest, air cushion or arm floats.
It can be unrealistic to expect that every adult in your pool should only be there if they have a buddy, but it’s a good rule for kids to follow every time. Do not let a child swim in your pool without someone at least sitting nearby.
No one should enter your home without first drying off, especially if you have tile floors. This is true even if you have a pool house or a special area dedicated to changing after swimming. Wet people will drip water onto your floors, making puddles. These puddles, in turn, create a slip and fall hazard.
If your pool has a diving board, people should only dive off of its front. If there is a water slide, it should be used as its design intends. If you have pool toys, floats or other equipment, show people how to use them properly. Don’t assume that visitors to your home know how to use the equipment.
It’s easy to forget to drink water when you are swimming. Staying hydrated is important. Dehydration can lead to stomach cramps and fatigue. These things can then lead to water accidents. Make sure you and your guests are drinking water even if you don’t feel thirsty.
There should be a very clear rule about running around the pool. This is true of children and adults. People using your pool should walk around its edges.
Diving in shallow water is dangerous. It is recommended that people don’t dive in water that is less than 8-feet deep. Diving in shallow water can lead to severe head, neck and spine injuries.
It is never a good idea to do anything that could be potentially life threatening if you are under the influence of alcohol or prescription medication. Do not drink to excess and then get in the pool. If you are on medication that makes you dizzy or fatigued, stay out of the water.
It can be funny to push someone in the water when they don’t expect it, especially if you have an audience. Sadly, this type of behavior can have unintended consequences. Do not push someone into a pool suddenly or if they are not aware of your intentions.
Glass becomes slippery when it’s wet. A glass can be easily dropped and broken, creating a hazard. Have plenty of plastic or acrylic tableware on hand for your guests. it’s much safer to use these items than those made of glass.
It’s easy to begin feeling like a summertime Grinch when you establish dozens of pool rules, but keep in mind that you are only doing so to keep everyone safe. If you don’t want to post a sign next to your pool, make sure that you at least verbally advise anyone visiting your home for the first time of the pool rules. If you will be having a pool party for your children, email the rules to parents before the party. When you establish a clear set of rules, you will find that you can actually relax a bit more than if people had no idea how to behave.
If you are involved in some type of accident near or in a pool this summer, reach out to our team of experienced personal injury attorneys in West Palm Beach. We will listen to the details of your accident and advise you of your legal options. Call us today to schedule your appointment for a free case evaluation.