Before allowing your kids to get into a pool, you should check for a few features to ensure no one is affected by personal injury:
- Are the drains equipped with covers to prevent little fingers or bathing suits from becoming entrapped?
- Has the pool been inspected recently?
- Are there life savers and reaching poles present?
Drain entrapments are rare, but life threatening if they happen. Many people affected by a drain entrapment suffer personal injury from being held under water for too long without oxygen. Personal injury by drain entrapment usually occurs when someone is atop the drain when the pump begins running. This can cause the person to be suctioned to the bottom of the pool, or their hair, limbs or bathing suits become entangled in the drain causing them to be trapped underwater. Look for flat drain gates and a single main drain system. If these are present, it might be a good idea to find another pool that has personal injury preventing measures in place.
Preventing Personal Injury by Defective Drain
Keep a close eye on children swimming near a drain. If they become entrapped, dive to the bottom as soon as possible, but don’t pull on the person. Insert a couple of fingers between the person’s body and the drain to break the seal, then roll the person off the drain and surface quickly to administer emergency aid to prevent further personal injury.
The best way to practice water safety to prevent a personal injury is to learn important life saving techniques, such as CPR. The CPSC 2013 Pool & Spa Submersion Report states 76% of reported water fatalities are aged 5 & under. Many cities offer CPR training through the health department or fire department. Personal injury prevention could be as easy as taking one of these courses. You can also ensure the pool’s staff members are trained by speaking with the head lifeguard or manager.
Know Before You Go
If you find yourself in a situation where someone is drowning, don’t jump in after them. This can cause the drowning victim to latch on to you and pull you under water. The best way to save someone is to use a reaching pole to pull the drowning victim towards you. Then grab them by the wrist and pull them out of the pool.
You should immediately check to see if the person is breathing. If not, you should begin chest compressions to make sure no further personal injury occurs. Below is a video that shows the signs to look for in a drowning victim and how to start life saving measures until emergency responders arrive.