Updated: Aug 7, 2019
It's hot outside San Antonio! A refreshing swim in a backyard pool is a typical summer activity for families throughout the extra hot South Texas cities of San Antonio, Laredo, and the RGV. Unfortunately, needless pool tragedies happen each year in Texas. Failure to adhere to proper pool guidelines and safety can also result in legal ramifications. Here’s what you should do to keep your swimming pool safe for your family throughout the rest of the summer...and a little longer for us further down South.
Swimming and water sports are some of Texans favorite summer activities. Even in a backyard pool, however, swimming is not without risk. Each year, more than 200 children and young adolescents die in backyard swimming pool accidents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that drowning is one of the leading causes of death in the 1-14 age group and in the case of children aged 1-4 only birth defects claim more lives every year. Maintaining a vigilant eye on the adolescents you are responsible for cannot be overstated. The reason for this post is to bring home the importance of ensuring appropriate swimming pool safety measures, educate the public on recent tragedies, and avoid all careless and negligent behavior. Martinez and Associates wants to see you safe out there this summer and out of the way of all pool and water related injuries.
Recently, a viral video recorded by a Massachusetts dad a few months back shows just how important it is to double check the safety of a backyard swimming pool. The video shows a two-year-old toddler climbing up a pool ladder approximately three times his size. The ladder seems securely locked and shut; turned out that the toddler didn’t need the steps to pull himself up onto the pool’s deck.
Myself, and the team here at Martinez and Associates put together four of our top safety tips to keep your children safe from injuries in San Antonio.
SAFE IS NEVER SAFE ENOUGH AROUND A POOL
Accidents can happen even before your child, or adult, enters the pool! Slip and fall accidents can cause serious injuries and even irreversible damage. For this reason the area outside the pool must be kept clean and clear at all times. The most common cause of a slip and fall is spilled or splashed water around the pool, install an appropriate drainage system, and take extra precaution to dry any puddles that can become a hazard to your family and loved ones. Try using non-slip materials on your pools deck, ladders, and diving board--these little precautions can be instrumental in preventing accidents and injuries. Be safe out there folks.
DON'T OVER ESTIMATE YOUR FENCE
It only takes a moment for a tragedy to occur. Even the most cautious and vigilant of parents can tell you how easy it is to briefly lose sight of a child. A momentary lapse in a parent’s attention may be just enough time for their child to sprint off toward the swimming pool. The American Red Cross suggests securing the pool with appropriate barriers – for example, a fence that is at least 4-feet high with a self-closing, self-latching gate. Still, never, under estimate a child’s strength and climbing abilities--even if your fence is difficult (or seemingly impossible) to climb.
CLEAN AND MAINTAIN YOUR POOL WATER!
If you have seen the news as of late you are aware of the "flesh-eating" bacteria that has taken the life of a Texas man this month. While cases like these have been reported off of beaches this one hits close to home. It's a reminder to keep your pool water clean! Unmaintained pool levels and water quality can become a safety hazard as well. People or animals swimming in the pool, dead insects and even leaves, grass, can all carry harmful bacteria. If the pool circulation and filtration systems are not adequately maintained, the bacteria can cause infections – among others extremely harmful symptoms. If excessive chemicals are responsible for keeping your water clean – chlorine – rashes and other adverse effects can occur. Such additives must be used strictly as instructed.
SUPERVISE, SUPERVISE, SUPERVISE!
Devastating swimming pool accidents and drownings occur due to a a lack of proper supervision in and near the pool. Please, never leave your child unattended near a pool. A responsible adult should be designated to watch swimmers. Keep your young children within arms reach when playing with them inside the pool. Novice swimmers should use a proper life jacket, one that fits and is approved for their age and weight.
Swimming pool safety is a serious issue, if taken lightly, it may end in tragic and needless serious accidents--even death. Also, failure to keep a pool and its surroundings reasonably safe can also lead to legal liability for injuries sustained. The summer brings happiness and fun in the sun for us and our children. Keep our backyard pools safe this summer by applying these vital measures of safety to keep it free from slip and falls and even more devastating injuries.
The Martinez & Associates Personal Injury Law Firm want the people of San Antonio to always remember to have fun, stay safe, and know your limits. ☀️ Watch the full video on our Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=347599232798911