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Protect Yourself Poolside this Summer

Written by Elizabeth Gilbert

Green inflatable floatie in pool

When temperatures climb and the humidity is high, many people turn to pools to cool off, exercise, and enjoy time with family and friends. Although time by the pool can be a wonderful way to enjoy the summer months, it is important to keep in mind measures you can take to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

What are Swimming-related Illnesses?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), swimming-related illnesses are “diseases that people can get from the water in which they swim and play – like swimming pools, hot tubs/spas, splash pads, or oceans, lakes, and rivers – if the water is contaminated with germs.”

The most common symptoms of swimming-related illnesses are eye pain, diarrhea, skin rashes, ear pain, and cough or congestion.  People develop these illnesses by swallowing, having contact with, or breathing in mists or aerosols from water contaminated with germs.  They can also be caused by coming into contact with chemicals in water or that evaporate from the water and turn into gas in the air.

How Can You Protect Yourself and Others from Swimming-related Illness?

The CDC advises that people take the following steps to prevent the spread of swimming-related illnesses:

  • If you or your child have experienced diarrhea in the past two weeks, stay out of the water.
  • Keep water out of your mouth while swimming.
  • Dry your ears after swimming.

How Can You Prevent Drowning in Pools?

Sadly, the CDC reports that drowning is the leading cause of death by unintentional injury in kids ages 1 through 4 years in the United States.  It is also the second leading cause of death by unintentional injury of children ages 0 through 17 years. Nevertheless, these tragedies are preventable and steps can be taken to avoid them.

The CDC recommends that people take the following measures to prevent drowning in pools:

  • Learn basic swimming and water safety skills through formal swimming lessons.
  • Build four-sided fences that fully enclose home pools with self-closing and self-latching gates.
  • Remove toys from the pool area that might attract children to the pool.
  • Designate a responsible adult to supervise children in or near water.
  • Life jackets should be worn by weak swimmers of all ages.
  • Learn CPR to save someone’s life.
  • Check the weather forecast before participating in activities in, on, or near water because the weather can change quickly and cause dangerous flash floods, strong winds, and thunderstorms with lightning strikes.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol before or during swimming, and do not drink alcohol while supervising children because it impairs judgment, balance, and coordination.
  • Implement the buddy system so that a swimmer is always swimming with a buddy.
  • Choose swimming sites that have lifeguards on duty when possible.
  • Provide one-on-one supervision around pools if you or a family member has a seizure disorder. Other medical conditions, including autism and heart conditions, are also associated with an increased risk of drowning.
  • Avoid swimming if you take medications that impair your balance, coordination or judgment because these side effects increase the risk of drowning.
  • Do not let swimmers hyperventilate before swimming underwater or try to hold their breath for long periods of time because this can cause them to pass out and drown.

What Can You Do if You or Your Loved One Are Involved in a Pool-related Accident?

If you or your child were injured or you lost a loved one in a pool-related accident, you should speak with a lawyer right away.  Contact the experienced lawyers at Berkowitz and Hanna, LLC if you have questions about your legal rights following a pool-related accident in Connecticut.  To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, call or contact us online today.