As temperatures continue to rise throughout the hot Ohio summers, a large number of people are running to swimming pools for a quick cool-down and relaxation. However, with the increase of swimming pool patrons, there is also an increase of injury-causing accidents. The majority of pool accidents fall into three categories: drowning, diving accidents, and construction defects/ equipment failures.
Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental injury-related death among children under the age of 15, and the leading cause of unintentional death in the world, with 372,000 drowning deaths reported annually, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). A whopping 75 percent of drowning deaths of children younger than 15 occurred at a private residence.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), for every child who drowns in the United States, five other children receive emergency room care for injuries suffered in a swimming pool. More than 50 percent of drowning victims treated in an emergency room require longer hospitalization, or are transferred to another facility for further care. In addition, non-fatal drowning injuries can cause severe brain damage that often results in long-term health issues—including memory and learning difficulties.
Various factors can influence a person’s chance of drowning, especially in children. Some of these factors include: subpar swim skills, lack of supervision, alcohol use, and seizure disorder.
Approximately 6,500 adolescents per year are brought to the hospital due to diving accidents, and 80 percent of these accidents happened in a swimming pool that had no warning signs. Moreover, due to the complicated construction of swimming pools, and the expensive upkeep that they require, there are often defects and equipment failures that can result in serious injuries.
For example, Circulation entrapment injury is often seen in both residential and public swimming pools. Circulation entrapment is when a swimmer is trapped by a suction created by water rushing out of the drain of a pool or hot tub. Most of the time, the swimmer gets hair, jewelry, or even a limb stuck. This is most commonly seen among young swimmers who lack the physical strength to free themselves from the suction. Between 2009-2013 there were 33 cases of circulation entrapment, and 21 of these victims were under the age of 15.
Each year, more and more accidents are occurring involving children and pools. To reduce this number and keep pool patrons safe, www.poolsafety.gov has released a blog post on easy steps to ensuring pool safety. Some of these tips include never leaving a child or an intoxicated adult alone near water, ensuring that pools have compliant drain covers, installing proper barriers, covers, and alarms around your residential pool, and learning how to perform CPR on both children and adults.