Everyone in the Pool!

Winston-Salem, NC 6/5/2013

Here comes summer, and that means swimming pool season! Kids are breaking out the water noodles and beach balls everywhere. Adults dream of sunning on the poolside lounge or getting in a few laps. Your insurance agent may like an afternoon at the pool, too, but we also want you to enjoy lounging in the water, not waiting in the emergency room. Pool-related injuries send unfortunate thousands to the hospital every year.

Please continue reading for some eye-opening pool accident statistics, and a few tips to keep you and your family out of the ER this summer: 

  • Pool-related injuries send nearly 50,000 people annually to the emergency room.
  • Of those injuries, 80% will arise from below-ground and 20% from above-ground pools.
  • Residential pools alone number nearly 4 million, 75% of which are above ground.
  • Each year, 330 children and adults drown in residential pools, many of which result from swimming alone or without adult supervision.
  • Causes of severe injuries include slippery walkways and decks, falling from diving boards and ladders, and diving or jumping into shallow water.
  • Swimming pool slides can be dangerous. Permanent disabilities can result when adults or children go down them head first and strike the bottom of the pool.
When you think pool, think safety. The usual parental commands – “Stop running!” and “Don’t push your sister in the water!” – are helpful, but not enough. Here are a few tips for preventing accidents at residential pools: 
  • Never swim alone.
  • Never leave a child unattended in the water or pool area.
  • Always go feet first when using a water slide. In addition, water slides should always be installed in a deep area of the pool.
  • Make sure there is adequate lifesaving equipment in the pool area, including life preservers and a rescue hook.
  • Install an audible pool alarm to alert you if someone falls into the pool while it is unattended.
  • Check local ordinances and codes for safety requirements, including specifications for ladder and hand rail placement and minimum depths for diving boards.
  • All electrical equipment should be installed by a licensed electrician in accordance with local codes.
  • Use non-slip materials on the pool deck, diving board and ladders.
  • Check the deck for safety hazards, such as protruding nails and loose boards.
  • Mark water depths conspicuously. Use a safety float line where the bottom slope deepens.
  • Maintain secure fencing and a locked entrance around the pool and deck area to prevent access when adequate supervision is not available.
  • Keep chemicals safely stored away from the pool area. Follow all storage and usage instructions recommended by the manufacturer.
  • For above-ground pools, check metal supports for rust or deterioration. These may indicate areas where the pool could rupture or a person could be injured.
If you are a pool owner, this may also be the perfect time to schedule a comprehensive review of your homeowners coverage with your agent.  Be certain your current liability protection is adequate to protect you from allegations of negligence from anyone claiming injury from being in or around your pool and pool-related activities. 
 
Please contact us to make sure that you know what your policy states with regard to pool-related exposures.

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