Every year enjoyment of summer is marked by tragedy when swimmers drown or are permanently injured in near-drowning accidents. It has been estimated that as many as 350 children under the age of 5 drown in pools each year and another 2,600 are treated for near-drowning incidents. Other dangers exist as well, especially of spinal injuries or paralysis from diving into too shallow water or injury from slips and falls.
Some swimming-related injuries are caused by poorly designed or faulty products. Examples of faulty products can include:
- a drain cover that catches a foot and causes a swimmer to drown,
- a pool cover with sharp edges that causes cuts or abrasions,
- a gas heater that explodes, or
- a sump pump that shorts and causes electrocution.
The design of the pool itself may be faulty, especially when it is difficult to see where the pool is deep enough to dive or when the shallow and deep areas are not clearly marked on the pool.
Other swimming-related injuries are directly attributable to the poor maintenance of a facility or the failure to properly supervise swimmers. The American Red Cross and other safety organizations emphasize that lifeguards must maintain constant supervision of swimmers.
For an in-depth discussion of swimming related injuries, please see the Free Advice website.
The American Red Cross website also provides a listing of water safety tips.