As a Houstonian, you know summer in Texas can be brutal. Being outside even for a few minutes is basically impossible unless you have a cool, refreshing body of water nearby. While many families will head to Galveston, Kemah, or Seabrook to cool off, many will head to a privately-owned or public pool to refresh themselves a little closer to home.
While grabbing some pool time can make for a great afternoon activity, and can be a great way to wear out your kids who are home on summer break, pools can be extremely dangerous when not properly maintained, and it’s important for parents to know about the potential dangers associated with these recreational spots. Hopefully, by being on the lookout for these unfortunately common pool dangers, you can ensure a safe, fun summer (or Fall, given it’s probably still in the 90’s) for your whole family.
1. Shock Treatment
We all know that water and electricity just don’t mix. However, in many pool designs, electrical components are right next to, or even submerged within, the water itself. From the pump to pool lights to heaters and filtration systems, it’s important that pool owners check these parts regularly for any signs of wear and tear, like fraying wires or covers that appear to be cracked or broken. If there’s even the slightest sign of damage, get these items replaced immediately.
And remember, an electrical component does not need to be in the pool itself to pose a serious threat to swimmers. People jumping in and out of pools causes water to spread around the pool itself, and an electrical current can easily travel from a nearby water pump through puddles into the pool itself. Similarly, make sure that if you have any items with you that are plugged into an outlet, like a charging cell phone or a radio, you keep these items elevated and away from any pooling water on the deck or patio.
2. No Running!
Speaking of pooling water, the area around a pool is, in many instances, more dangerous than the pool itself because of how slick and slippery it can get. People splashing, jumping into the pool, and just getting out of the pool and dripping on their way back to their towels can spread an incredible amount of water on the surfaces surrounding a pool, creating a serious slipping hazard for anyone who is not watching where they walk or who is walking too quickly.
If you’re at a municipal pool, the city has a duty to make sure that decks are regularly swept and kept clearly of standing water. Additionally, they are responsible for posting lifeguards on duty who should keep an eye on pool visitors and make sure they don’t run or rush in potentially slippery conditions.
3. There’s no P in our OOL
People are rarely at their cleanest when they jump in a pool, and especially in public pools, there is all kinds of disgusting dirt, grime, sweat, and even worse materials that can quickly start to contaminate the water. That’s why pools are treated with such high concentrations of chlorine and other chemicals—to kill harmful bacteria and make sure that the water is safe to be in. When these chemicals are used properly, they should be able to create an environment that is safe for people of all ages to swim in and enjoy. Without proper treatment, however, bacteria can flourish, posing a serious safety threat to swimmers—especially those with undeveloped or compromised immune systems.
4. Not for Human Consumption
Those same chemicals that help maintain a safe, swimmable pool by eliminating bacteria are crazy dangerous on their own. These powders and liquids need to be kept in a safe, secure, and dry location to prevent them from spilling and contaminating other products and surfaces. Without being diluted, they can easily cause contact burns to those who touch them. Worse, their interesting smells can attract curious little kids who seem to want to put everything in their mouths, posing serious poisoning risks. Whether we’re talking about a privately owned pool or a large, city pool, chemicals need to be locked up safely and kept out of the sight and reach of visitors and guests.
5. Too Much Suction
Pool drains are great, right? They help pull dirt, leaves, and other debris out of our pools keeping them clean and pristine. Unfortunately, these devices are known to regularly have defects and malfunctions that can cause them to exert a lot more suction than what was ever intended. While this can be a minor inconvenience for adult swimmers who might have to tug their suit out of a drain, children and weak swimmers can easily become trapped against these high powered devices, leading to drowning if someone doesn’t notice the problem right away and quickly come to their aid. To prevent against this very real risk, pool owners should regularly check their drains to make sure they’re operating normally and not sucking too hard.
It just wouldn’t be summer in Texas without some refreshing, relaxing time by the pool. However, these times can quickly go bad when careless, negligent property owners fail to take proper care of their pools and the surrounding premises. If you or someone you love has been injured because of dangerous conditions in or around a pool, you may be eligible to take action against them for the preventable harm they have caused you and your family. Learn more about your legal rights and the options available to you by calling Chenkin Law Firm today at (800) 721-7472.