It’s summer—a great time to be at the pool. But it’s also a time to pay close attention—according the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), drowning is the leading cause of traumatic death in children under the age of four in the United States. Furthermore, for every child who dies in a swimming pool accident, ten more suffer nonfatal injuries, including brain damage from oxygen deprivation.
Here are the major risks associated with swimming pools:
- Drowning/submersion injuries—These can be caused by a variety of circumstances, from the failure to provide adequate supervision to leaving pool gates open around toddlers or young children. In addition, a small child may get caught in a malfunctioning pool drain and be pulled underwater.
- Diving injuries—Many people, including children, who have never dived before suffer serious injury because they don’t know where the shallow end of the pool begins or don’t know how to judge where it’s safe to dive. As a result, they may strike their head on a shallow spot in the pool, breaking their neck or fracturing a skull. In addition, many people are hurt in pools when other swimmers unknowingly dive on to them.
- Injuries caused by wet or slippery surfaces—The tile around a pool can become extremely slippery with a little water on it. If swimmers are allowed to engage in horseplay, running, pushing or other acts, it’s pretty easy for someone to get hurt.
- Electrocution—Many pools have submerged lights, but the electrical wiring may be shoddy or in need of repair. In addition, pool pumps, sump pumps and vacuums can cause injury. However, the greatest source of electrocution injuries to swimmers, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission—plugged in radios, stereos, extension cords or power tools
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