Swimming is one of the most popular sports activities in the country, offering many health benefits. Unfortunately, swimming pools and other recreational water venues are prone to illnesses and injuries, as well, making it imperative to take certain safety precautions when swimming.
With the unofficial start of summer arriving this upcoming Memorial Day weekend, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reminding people to follow swimming pool safety recommendations. In fact, this week is National Recreational Water Illness and Injury (RWII) Prevention Week, which marks the 10th anniversary of this observance.
This year’s theme for RWII Prevention Week 2014 is Healthy and Safe Swimming: We’re in it Together, with a focus on the role of swimmers, aquatics and beach staff, residential pool owners, and public health officials in preventing drowning, pool chemical injuries, and outbreaks of illnesses.
Drowning is the leading cause of injury death among children between the ages of one and four. In fact, every day, ten people die from drowning, and two of those ten fatalities are children under the age of 15 years. Even among those drowning victims who survive, more than half are hospitalized, with many individuals experiencing brain damage that can cause memory problems, learning disabilities, or permanent vegetative state.
To prevent drowning, the CDC makes the following safety recommendations:
- Make sure everyone knows how to swim.
- Use life jackets appropriately.
- Provide continuous, attentive supervision close to swimmers.
- Know CPR (for older children and adults).
- Install and maintain barriers like 4-sided fencing and weight-bearing pool covers.
- Use locks/alarms for windows and doors.
Chemical injuries are also fairly common around swimming pools. According to the CDC, preventable injuries from pool chemicals led to nearly 5,000 emergency room visits in 2012, with nearly half of injuries in children and teenagers and more than a third of these injuries occurring at a home swimming pool.
To prevent pool chemical injuries, the CDC makes the following safety recommendations:
- Read and follow directions on product labels.
- Wear appropriate safety equipment, such as goggles and masks, as directed, when handling pool chemicals.
- Secure pool chemicals to protect people and animals.
- Keep young children away when handling chemicals.
- NEVER mix different pool chemicals with each other, especially chlorine products with acid.
- Pre-dissolve pool chemicals ONLY when directed by product label.
- Add pool chemical to water, NEVER water to any pool chemical.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
The Chicago personal injury lawyers at Ankin Law Office, LLC are dedicated to promoting swimming pool safety and holding negligent parties responsible for any resulting injuries or deaths. If you or a loved one has been involved in a swimming pool accident, you may be able entitled to compensation through a personal injury, premises liability, or wrongful death lawsuit. Contact the Chicago personal injury lawyers at Ankin Law Offices, LLC at (312) 600-0000 to learn more about swimming pool safety.