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Summer Swimming Pool Safety: Tips for Parents in Florida

May 31, 2024 | Category: Personal Injury | Share

With summer right around the corner, pools across Florida are already seeing swimmers on a daily basis. But, once summer break starts, that’s really when pool season begins in earnest. While swimming at the pool is a great way for kids to get some exercise while spending time with their friends, swimming pools can also be dangerous—so it is important for parents to be as vigilant as possible. Here are some tips from Naples injury attorney Randall L. Spivey and the team at the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.

10 Tips for Summer Swimming Pool Safety

Tip #1: Avoid Overcrowded Swimming Pools

Overcrowded swimming pools can be dangerous for a couple of reasons. Not only are accidents more likely to happen when a swimming pool is overcrowded, but a swimmer who has been hurt, trapped underwater, or knocked unconscious is less likely to be seen. While it may seem counterintuitive, some of the most tragic swimming pool accidents happen when pools are the busiest.

Tip #2: Watch Out for Swimming Pool Safety Red Flags

When you take your children swimming, it is a good idea to watch out for some swimming pool safety red flags. If you observe any of these red flags, this may be a sign that it would be better to take your children somewhere else to swim:

  • Lack of Supervision – If you won’t be staying to watch your children swim, you should make sure that someone else will. If you take your children to a party or friend’s house and notice that no adults are watching the pool, you may consider offering to stay and help supervise.  
  • Water That Isn’t Crystal Clear – All swimming pools should have crystal clear water. If a pool’s water isn’t crystal clear, this is a sign that it isn’t being properly maintained. In this situation, not only could the water itself be dangerous, but you won’t know what other maintenance issues the pool’s owner might be ignoring.
  • Debris on the Surface of the Pool – Debris on a pool’s surface can trap children underwater. Debris on the surface can also prevent adults or other swimmers from noticing that a child under the water is in distress.
  • Pool Decking that is Slick or Cracked – Pool decking that is slick or cracked can present risks for slips, trips, and falls. While all falls can cause injuries, falling into a pool can be especially dangerous.
  • Inadequate Safety Precautions – Florida’s Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act requires that all residential pool owners take certain safety precautions to prevent unauthorized access. For example, gates that provide access to a residential pool must typically have a latch that is at least 54 inches off of the ground. Commercial swimming pools and neighborhood pools should have access restrictions and other safety precautions in place as well.

Tip #3: Make Sure Your Children Will Not Be Left Unattended

While no one likes to think about it, when it comes to swimming pools, tragedy can strike in an instant. As a result, you should make sure that your children will not be left unattended while swimming. If you were planning to drop your kids off and you can’t stay because you have work or other obligations, the right choice might be finding something else for your children to do. If a friend’s older sibling has been left in charge, you will need to decide whether you feel confident that he or she will pay attention the entire time and be able to render assistance if necessary.

Tip #4: Remind Your Children to Practice Basic Swimming Pool Safety

No matter where your children will be swimming, it is a good idea to provide some basic reminders at the start of each pool season. For example, while these rules are all fairly simple, they can all help prevent potentially serious accidents:

  • Walk, don’t run.
  • Observe all “No Diving” signs.
  • Always look for other people before you jump in.
  • Never eat or drink in the pool.
  • Never push someone into the pool or hold them underwater.

Tip #5: Don’t Hesitate to Intervene if You Have Concerns About Your Children’s Safety

As a parent, you want to encourage independence, but, ultimately, it is most important that you put safety first. With this in mind, if you have concerns about your children’s safety at a swimming pool for any reason, you should not hesitate to intervene.

Tip #6: Don’t Let Your Children Swim If It is Thundering

If there is thunder, there is lightning. Even if it seems like thunder and lightning are far away, storms can move quickly (and lightning can travel 10 to 12 miles from a storm)—so it is important to get your children out of the pool right away. The National Weather Service recommends waiting at least 30 minutes to see if thunder or lightning strikes again.

Tip #7: Be Particularly Cognizant of High-Risk Pool Features

While spas, diving boards, and slides can take a pool day to the next level, these features also present additional safety risks. If any of these features appear damaged or poorly maintained, it is best to tell your children not to use them. Even if they look safe enough, you (or whoever else is supervising) should be particularly vigilant while these features are in use.  

Tip #8: Take a Rain Check if Necessary

Since we’re here in Florida, there will always be another pool day. If you have safety concerns, or even if your “gut feeling” is telling you that swimming is not a good idea, you should take a rain check. There are plenty of other activities that your children can enjoy if there is not somewhere else that they can swim nearby.

Tip #9: Learn About the Most Common Causes of Swimming Pool Accidents

As a parent in Florida, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the most common causes of swimming pool accidents—which include many of the issues we have discussed above. If you know what types of safety hazards present the greatest risks, you can make an informed decision about whether it is safe enough for your children to swim.

Tip #10: Make Sure You Know What to Do in the Event of an Emergency

Finally, whether your children are swimming at home, at your neighborhood pool, or at a hotel or resort, it is important to make sure you know what to do in the event of an emergency. Locate the pool’s emergency shut-off and life ring (if your children are at a public pool), make sure you have your phone nearby, and make sure someone is prepared to jump in if necessary.

What to Do if Your Child is Injured at a Swimming Pool in Florida

While we hope that you never have to deal with your child being injured in a swimming pool, we also know that swimming pool accidents are far too common. If your child gets injured while swimming, here are some steps you should try to take as soon as possible:

  • Make Sure You Clearly Understand Your Child’s Medical Needs – After a swimming pool accident, your first priority should be making sure your child gets the medical treatment he or she needs. It is crucial that you follow the advice of doctors to protect your child’s health.  
  • Keep as Much Documentation as Possible – If you have any photos or videos from the day of the accident, be sure to keep them on your phone. Also, take a few minutes to sit down and write down everything you know about what happened.
  • Avoid Contacting the Pool Owner or Pool Contractor – While you may be tempted to contact the pool’s owner (or your pool contractor if the accident happened at home), you should avoid doing so. At this stage, all communications should go through your attorney.
  • Avoid Posting About What Happened on Social Media – You should also avoid posting about what happened on social media. If your family has a claim for financial compensation, you do not want to give the insurance companies any opportunity to use your own words or photos against you.
  • Contact a Naples Injury Attorney for Help – If your family has a claim against a homeowner’s insurance company, homeowners’ association, hotel, resort, pool contractor, or any other business, you will need an experienced attorney on your side. Hiring a Naples injury attorney costs nothing out of pocket, and it is one of the most important steps you can take to protect your family’s legal rights.

Contact a Skilled Naples Injury Attorney for More Information

If you need to know more about hiring an attorney to help you assert your family’s legal rights after a swimming pool accident in Florida, we strongly encourage you to contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. To speak with Naples injury attorney Randall L. Spivey for free, call 239-337-7483 or statewide call 888-477-4839 or contact us online at today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

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