Pool Info: Pool Safety Information
Pool Safety Information
Welcome to the safety archive! Using common sense, caution and standard practices can keep chemical applicators and pool users safe from harm. I wish to acknowledge the National Spa & Pool Institute for their work in pool and spa safety and their contributions to this page. Visit the Poolcenter.com Library for links to other safety sites we recommend. Safety around a swimming pool is an issue addressed by pool & spa professionals, their trade associations, and your local government in cooperation with consumer focus groups. Consumer Product Safety Commission has produced a page on pool safety and safety products. Pools and spas are not considered dangerous, yet the lack of proper precaution or available safety products can create hazardous conditions or liability concerns for the pool owner. Drowning can occur in a split second to people of all ages and swimming ability. Spinal injuries continue to happen from improper diving, to slip and fall cases that could end up in court, to the use of hazardous materials requiring a visit to the emergency room. The information below is divided into 2 categories: 1 - Drowning & Accident Prevention and 2 - Chemical Use and Storage Safety.
Drowning & Accident Prevention
NSPI statistics show that drowning and swimming accidents are best prevented by adult supervision, public awareness programs including water safety training for young children, and not drinking alcohol while swimming, diving or soaking. Statistically, most accidents involving drowning or severe injury occur to children under 5 years of age who are unsupervised, cannot swim, and fall into a pool or pool cover with water on top. Toddlers at the age of 2 or 3 are most likely to wander off from a parent's supervision. Barriers such as fences or back doors are often left unlocked. Drowning is NOT accompanied by loud noise or splashing sounds. DROWNING IS SILENT! To prevent child-drowning, there is NO substitute for parental supervision.
The second largest number of accidental injuries occur to teenagers, primarily males. Often the victim has been drinking alcohol and has dove into the pool in an area too shallow for diving, or from a location not intended for diving (like the roof of the house). Many of those who "drink and dive" end up in a wheelchair, if they're lucky. Alcohol and spas are also a potentially lethal combination; the hot water and the alcohol combine to cause individuals to fall asleep and drown in only three feet of water. Other hazards exist, like standing water on top of solid pool covers. Small children and animals can drown in as little as a few inches of water. Cover pumps are available and must be used, or switch to a mesh type safety cover. Solar blankets or solid covers must be completely removed before entering the water. Entrapment by the suction of a single main drain on long hair or small arms and legs has been the cause of drowning in the past. New standards require double main drains or a safety switch to prevent this.
In some areas of the nation's sunbelt, drowning has been the leading cause of accidental death in the home of children under 5 years old. The information below can help parents and caregivers provide young children with the protection they deserve. Each year, nationwide, more than 300 children under 5 years old drown in residential swimming pools, usually a pool owned by their family. In addition, more than 2,000 children in that age group are treated in hospital emergency rooms for submersion injures. Medical costs for submersion victims during the initial hospitalization alone can be quite high. Costs can range from an estimated $2,000 for a victim who recovers fully to $80,000 for a victim with severe brain damage. Some severely brain damaged victims have initial hospital stays in excess of 120 days and expenses in excess of $150,000. Many communities have enacted safety regulations governing residential swimming pools -- in-ground and above-ground. It's up to parents to comply with these regulations. Apart from these laws, parents who own pools can take their own precautions to reduce the chances of their youngsters accessing the family pool or spa without adult supervision.
Facts & Figures
The following are just a few facts uncovered by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in a comprehensive study of drowning and submersion incidents involving children under 5 years old in Arizona, California, and Florida.
More NSPI (National Spa & Pool Institute) Drowning Prevention Tips