Brian White | June 8, 2018 | Summer Safety
Many American families enjoy swimming pools during the hot summer months, but it’s important to know how to avoid some common swimming pool injuries. Additionally, it’s imperative for pool owners to know how to properly maintain their pools to keep the water free from potentially harmful substances and organisms.
As we focus on safety this summer, Attorney Brian White and his team want you to know a few best practices for safely enjoying your pool and avoiding pool accidents and injuries this summer.
Tips for Pool Owners
As a pool owner, you have a responsibility to the people who use your pool to keep it clean and make sure the water filtration works properly. Consult the manufacturer of your pool or the company that performed the installation to determine the proper chemical treatment your pool water needs, and make sure to check the water quality regularly.
Too much chemical treatment can shock the water and cause discomfort to swimmers. Some pool chemicals can cause skin and eye irritation if you use too much, so take care to follow the cleaning and filtration system instructions carefully.
Ensure the people who use your pool do so safely as well. Do not allow people with open wounds or infectious diseases to swim in your pool, as this may spread to other swimmers. It’s also wise to keep pets out of your pool. Pet fur can clog your pool’s filtration system and irritate swimmers, so it’s best to set up a separate doggie pool if you have a pet that enjoys the water.
Babies and young children should only swim in a pool with direct supervision, and babies should have swim diapers or other appropriate safety equipment as needed.
It’s vital for parents to never leave young children unattended, even if you provide them with a flotation device. Many flotation devices for young children are ring-shaped and can tip over, effectively trapping the child under the water’s surface. Drowning injuries or death can occur within minutes, so it’s vital to always supervise children in the pool. Keep lifesaving equipment near the pool at all times in case of emergency.
Pool owners should also ensure the people who use their pools do not consume alcohol or drugs before swimming and refrain from engaging in horseplay. Although relaxing with a drink in the pool may sound like an ideal afternoon for some, the reality is that too much alcohol can cause a person to lose consciousness and drown. The same applies if a swimmer sustains a head injury and falls unconscious while roughhousing in the water.
Legal Options After a Pool Injury
If you or a loved one suffers an injury in a swimming pool, it’s vital to determine whether you have grounds for a lawsuit against the pool owner. If your injury occurred in a privately-owned pool, you must assess how the injury happened and whether it was preventable and foreseeable.
For example, if you regularly visit a friend to use his pool during the summer, but he forgets a round of chemical treatment and you contract an infection from the pool water, the pool owner is liable, but it may be difficult to prove the infection resulted from the neglected pool water and not something else.
If a filtration system or pool malfunctions and causes an illness or injury, you may have grounds for a product liability claim against the manufacturer. In this case, you wouldn’t need to prove the manufacturer was negligent, only that the product in question was defective and the defect caused your damages.
Ultimately, the best resource for more information about your legal options after a pool injury is an experienced Houston personal injury attorney.