As the weather heats up, a lot of us are looking forward to fun get-togethers over the summer months. Backyard barbeques, visits to the beach, family road trips, and lots of pool parties. While “going to the pool” conjures up visions of fun with family and friends, it is important for everyone to keep pool safety in mind before going in for that swim.
Pools must be properly built and maintained by their owners, as failing to do so may lead to guests being injured or even killed. Whether an incident occurs in a pool at a private residence or a community recreational area, the owner of the pool may be liable for the victim’s damages.
What Pool Owners Should Do
Most pool safety issues have to do with the owners not being vigilant. Pools on both public and residential properties must be properly maintained to prevent safety hazards. If you are a pool owner, you can take the following steps to protect your guests from unsafe pool conditions:
- Test the water. It is important to maintain safe chemical levels at all times. Test the chemical levels of your pool when someone will be swimming to ensure the right amount of chemicals. Chlorine levels can get too high or low when left unmonitored, which can result in various health issues for swimmers.
- Check for algae. Toxic cyanobacteria produced by blue-green algae is something you do not want in your pool. These algae can usually be identified by a green color on the water’s surface and an unpleasant odor.
- Limit the number of babies in your pool. While babies may enjoy monitored time in the pool with a parent or guardian, too many babies can cause an overabundance of diapers and fecal matter, which could sicken other swimmers. Make sure that all kids who are not potty-trained wear swim diapers to prevent infections.
- Clean dirty or cloudy water. Is the pool sparkling and clear? If not, it is best avoided. Water that is cloudy is a sign that the pool is poorly maintained and may have drainage system issues.
- Limit the number of swimmers. The fewer people in a pool, the less chance of contamination… and accidents. It is best to lower your pool’s capacity by limiting pool time for each swimmer. Too large a crowd creates less room for swimmers and more distractions for lifeguards, which can lead to a drowning.
- Put pool ladders away properly. Remember to store pool ladders when not in use. Children may play on the ladders and experience injuries.
- Fence the pool. You must have a secure fence and locked gate around your pool to prevent children and other visitors from accessing the pool without permission when there is no supervision. This is the law. Check your local rules to learn the laws in your area.
- Post proper warning signs. It is important for every visitor to your pool to see clear warning signs indicating vital safety information, such as whether or not a lifeguard is on duty, how deep the pool is, and the rules for safe conduct.
- Provide floatation devices. Every pool visitor should have easy access to floatation devices and other types of safety equipment. Keep this equipment close by when there are visitors to the pool.
Common Types of Pool Accidents
- Slips and falls. The pavement around a pool is particularly hazardous due to all of the water splashing onto the surface. Pool owners should post proper warning signs (such as “Do Not Run”) and try to keep the surface as dry and safe as possible.
- Drowning. Accidental submersion can best be prevented with proper supervision, at a private pool, and the presence of lifeguards, at a public pool. There should be clear warnings signs indicating how deep the pool is. Limiting the number of guests, having flotation devices for younger swimmers, and other safety measures can help prevent drowning.
- Diving injuries. Depth signs are also very important for visitors who want to dive into the pool. Diving into a pool that is too shallow can result in severe head and spinal injuries, some which can cause lifelong medical issues and even wrongful death.
Filing a Pool Accident Claim
While visiting the pool can be a very fun and relaxing summer activity, we must all take the proper measures to ensure an injury-free time – especially pool owners and managers. When they don’t, they may be liable for the victim’s injuries, including medical bills, pain and suffering, costs of a disability, and more.
If your child was injured in or around a pool, you may be able to hold the pool owner liable in a premises liability lawsuit. Our skilled team of Santa Barbara premises liability attorneys will work to get you the compensation you deserve. Call NordstrandBlack PC today at (805) 962-2022 for a free consultation.