Part of the American dream, along with a house and a picket fence, is a swimming pool in the backyard. What says summertime more than splashing around in the pool with family and friends? What fun, but along with the fun, is a more serious side. The dangers of having a swimming pool are many, and homeowners should be ever cautious. So, in practical terms, what does this mean? Below you’ll find six dangers homeowners and swimmers should be aware of before taking a dip.
Slippery When Wet
When adults and children alike are splashing in the pool, water is bound to scatter along the deck surrounding the pool. Running should be non-existent, and even walking should be careful. Oh, children will be children, and stopping them from running is difficult, but it’s important. Not only could they fall and scrape up legs, hands, and even faces, but they could sprain an ankle, hit their heads, or also fall back in the pool. During the offseason, children or animals could fall into the pool. Therefore, it’s important to look for pool safety covers.
Now, it’s understood if there is a diving board, it’s inherently ok to dive. However, like mentioned above, diving boards can be slick from repeated use, and when running to make a perfect jack-knife, a swimmer could slip and fall off the diving board, hitting their head in the process. Never allow diving, even from the side of the pool, into a pool 5 feet or less. While small children would probably not go head first to the bottom of the pool, larger children and adults most certainly would/could.
Most people never think about the danger involved with drains, but adults and children alike should be cautious of drains and the suction they provide. While it’s great for taking in dirt and insects, it can be dangerous when swimming, sucking in hair, and loose strings from a swimsuit.
A pool’s chemicals are a double-edged sword, providing safety against algae and bacteria, but they are often stored in the pool house that is accessible to just about anyone. The chemicals by themselves might not be dangerous, but when combined, there could be dangerous reactions. Homeowners and community pool admins both should keep all chemicals and tools under lock and key at all times.
Everyone knows the dangers that go with electricity and water when mixed. Swimming pools have many electrical components and wiring that must be constantly monitored. When installing a pool, pumps and lights must appropriately connect with a ground fault interrupter.
Sure, many adults want to enjoy the pool with a drink or beer, but overindulgence at a pool can have hazardous results. The feeling of invincibility that alcohol provides when inebriated can turn normal swimmers into daredevils. While it’s up to the homeowner and his house rules, experts suggest not allowing alcohol around neighborhood pools.
While this post surely exposes the dark side of owning a pool, it can truly be a wonderful investment. A family can enjoy a pool their entire lives and never have a problem. The key is supervision…of the hardware/electrical system, chemicals, young children, and alcohol. By being vigilant, a swimming pool can be a joy to behold.