The weather is hot here in Nevada, and many families are beating the heat by installing swimming pools in their backyards or visiting the community pool. However, pools can be dangerous, especially for young children – they carry the risk of drowning death and other injuries, including brain damage. In some situations, you could file a lawsuit or insurance claim against the at-fault party with the help of a Las Vegas swimming pool accident lawyer. To prevent a swimming pool accident at your home, follow these basic safety precautions.
#1: Install a Fence
One of the greatest safety risks to a young child is a pool that does not have a fence around it. Your child can run, jump, slide, or slip and fall into an unfenced pool easily – and if you are not around to see it, devastating consequences can occur. The longer a child stays underwater, the higher the risk of death or severe brain injury.
To prevent swimming pool accidents, install a fence to separate the pool area from your home and the rest of your yard. The fence should be at least four feet tall to prevent children from climbing over it. In addition, ensure that your fence does not obscure the view of the pool so you can monitor it when necessary. Make sure the vertical slats have gaps of four inches or more.
#2: Teach Your Children Swimming Skills
If a child knows how to swim safely, he or she has a greater chance of avoiding injury or death during a swimming pool accident. Once your child is four years old, start taking him or her to swim classes in your local community. While swimming is a valuable and often life-saving skill, swimming lessons are not enough to prevent injury – so make sure your children have proper supervision in the pool.
#3: Avoid Drugs and Alcohol
Swimming pool accidents do not just occur to children – they can happen to adults as well, especially if drugs and alcohol are involved. Someone can have too much to drink and pass out in the pool, or lose the motor function necessary to swim. Make sure that you and anyone else swimming in the pool stay away from drugs and alcohol.
#4: Install Covers and Alarms
Another way you can prevent a swimming pool accident at your home is to install additional safety features alongside a pool gate. Alarms on the pool door or a below-water alarm can alert you if your child enters the pool unsupervised. The sooner you can retrieve your child after he or she falls into the pool, the less likely severe injury is to occur.
You can also install rigid covers on your pool to block access when you and your family are not using the pool. Lock away all of the ladders or steps that lead into the pool at night as well. As a result, the pool will be more difficult to get into at night or when not in use.
#5: Equip Your Pool with Proper Rescue Equipment
You never know when a child or someone else in your household can fall victim to a swimming pool accident. Ensure that you have all necessary rescue equipment at your pool so that you can assist when an injury occurs – life jackets, life preservers, and first-aid kits are essential during an emergency situation.
In addition, you should learn what to do in case someone suffers from a swimming pool accident. Take lifeguard or CPR classes, learn basic first-aid, and always keep emergency numbers with you. Whenever you go to the pool, take your cell phone so you can call 911 in the event of an emergency.
By following these tips, you can keep yourself and your family safe while you swim. However, accidents do happen – and sometimes, someone else’s negligence or recklessness about pool safety can lead to an injury or death. Contact a Las Vegas personal injury attorney to learn more about your legal options following a swimming pool accident.