Fiol Law Group|Posted in Safety on October 13, 2017
While facilities around the country are closing their pools for the winter, it’s always swimming season in Florida. Pools can be an ideal way to cool off and take a breather, but they can also lead to injury. Swimming pool accidents are rare, though they can have devastating consequences. Take steps to protect yourself and your family with these swimming pool safety tips:
1. Know Basic Lifesaving Skills
Everyone who enters a pool should be familiar with the basics – for example, how to float and move through the water with ease. Those unfamiliar with these fundamentals should always wear a U.S. Coast Guard Certified lifejacket. Look for the seal of approval on the inside of the jacket. It’s important to note that water wings, inflatable jackets, and other leisure toys do not serve a lifesaving purpose. Never allow children to use them without supervision.
If you frequently swim in a pool or waters with no lifeguard on duty, learn the basics of CPR. You can find free classes throughout the community by checking with your American Red Cross or American Heart Association chapter.
2. Maintain Proper Fencing
If you own your own pool, now is the perfect time to inspect your fencing and make any adjustments for added safety. The best pool fence is a four-sided isolation fence with gates that are both self-closing and self-latching. These fences help keep children away from the pool when they’re not supervised. Children can drown in less than five minutes, so ensure that pool fences completely separate your pool from the house and play areas.
3. Take Extra Precaution in Natural Bodies of Water
Even if your children are strong swimmers, make sure they all wear life jackets in natural bodies of water. Florida often has strong riptides that can carry people out to sea, so life jackets can protect them when swimming can’t. Check with your local weather station before heading to the beach for the day.
4. Always Be Vigilant
As an adult, it’s your responsibility to watch your children while they play in the water (if you have other children playing in your backyard pool, they’re also your responsibility). Be vigilant and use active supervision while children are swimming or splashing around. Avoid distracting activities like checking your phone, playing cards, drinking alcohol, or reading books.
5. Protect Your Skin
Lastly, don’t forget to protect your skin from the sun. It’s a good idea to limit your exposure to direct sunlight between 10 am and 4 pm, so wear a swimsuit or rash guard with SPF and UV protection. Check the label of your sunscreen and make sure it’s water resistant – even if it is, be sure to reapply it frequently. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to avoid dehydration.
Florida offers plenty of time for fun in the sun, both in the fall and year-round. Take some time to review your water safety plan and observe these tips for a happy, healthy swimming season. Share these tips with family and friends so everyone can reduce their risk of injury. If you have been injured in a swimming pool during the summer, contact a Tampa swimming pool accident lawyer to review your case.