All Posts By

David Morrill

Alcohol And Swimming Pools – A Dangerous Combination

By | Liability, Swimming Pool Tips | No Comments

Consuming alcohol before undertaking activities that require concentration (or any type of sober judgment for that matter) is generally a bad idea. We know how catastrophic drinking and driving can be, and how drinking on the job can lead to some serious workplace injuries.

However, combining alcohol and a swimming pool or a hot tub almost always results in tragedy, a fact that many are yet to understand the full implications of.

Having alcoholic beverages in and around artificial bodies of water is sadly evolving into a social norm as parties that are centered on pools and hot tubs are becoming more and more popular.

The need to educate people on the dangers of combining alcohol and swimming pools is now urgent because according to statistics, in 41 percent of the pool-related deaths of people between the age of 15 and 29 years, alcohol plays a role.

Why Is Alcohol So Bad When Swimming?

It goes without saying that creating a false sense of security is one of the biggest effects of consuming alcohol. This explains why people are often more willing to undertake unnecessary risks and do things that normally they would think twice about.

The Same case applies to alcohol and swimming. One can gravely misjudge the depth of a pool and dive to his/her own death. Some may suddenly feel confident enough to perform feats that require athlete-like stamina, which would ultimately lead to a fatal outcome.

A few other reasons why mixing alcohol and swimming pools is not advisable to include:

1. Impairs Judgment and Mars Coordination

Some of the effects of alcohol include numbing the senses and dramatically messing up the body’s coordination. This is why simple exercises like walking on a straight line for a short distance become impossible. Alcohol also prevents you from perceiving distances, depth and situations accurately.

2. Alcohol May Promote Hypothermia

When the body gets cold, blood is diverted from the limbs to the vital organs in order to help them retain heat. Alcohol will inhibit the body from doing this and if the water is cold enough (as swimming pools tend to be), a person will be at greater risk of death whether they get out of the water safely or not.

3. Alcohol Disorients and Impedes Quick Reactions

Walking, one of the simplest exercises one can undertake usually becomes more challenging after consuming alcohol. This is why swimming while inebriated can never result in anything positive.

In addition to inducing sudden temperature changes that can greatly disorient a person, alcohol also makes reactions drag out, thereby making one incapable of saving oneself in the event of an emergency.

4. Alcohol Significantly Reduces the Chances of CPR Being Effective

Once an accident occurs to a person in an inebriated state, first responders usually count on the person’s general health and state of the body to assist in recuperation. If the body is already heavily impeded from normal functioning by alcohol, the chances of simple resuscitation procedures such as CPR being effective are slim at best, and quite often, the person does not pull through.

Alcohol should be banned from the poolside area in general because all it takes is a slight loss of balance to end up in a life-threatening situation. Pool owners should always ensure that inebriated individuals stay away from swimming pools as they pose a significant danger to themselves and other pool users.

Wrongful Death Suit – When Swimming Pools Cease Being Fun

By | Liability, Swimming Pool Tips | No Comments

Tragedy can strike unexpectedly especially around the swimming pool area. The popular recreational activity comes with its fair share of dangers and—as we have seen before on numerous occasions—it can turn grim in a number of unexpected ways.

When should I file a wrongful death suit?

Losing a loved one in an incident that was the result of another person’s negligence warrants you to file a wrongful death suit against that person. In many instances, the pool owner is liable regardless of whether he/she was present during the time of the incident. This is especially so if the accident was caused by a fault/insufficiency pertaining to the swimming pool itself or the poolside area.

You are eligible to file a suit against the pool owner following the death of a loved one on his/her property IF the death was a result of at least one of the following:

  • Negligence on the part of the swimming pool owner – an obvious lack of adherence to swimming pool safety guidelines makes the swimming pool owner directly liable for the death of your loved one. If for instance the victim was tripped by a rope, cable, or an object that was not supposed to be around the swimming pool area, this can be chalked down as negligence on the part of the pool owner.
  • A poorly equipped swimming pool facility – faulty pool structures such as unmaintained surfaces and faulty electronic components can easily lead to the death of individuals within the swimming pool. Children are especially prone to getting stuck in uncovered pool drains while exposed wires or faulty electronic appliances may lead to the electrocution of everyone in and around the pool.
  • Lack of proper safety equipment around the pool – In the event of an accident in the swimming pool, the life-guard/supervisor has only seconds to react as even the slightest delay can lead to the death or permanent injury of a swimmer. If, for instance, the poolside is not properly equipped with Coast-Guard approved life jackets and safety rings, this could delay rescue missions significantly and increase the risk of death when an accident happens.
  • Lack of properly trained lifeguards – a life guard’s role is not just to ensure that the swimming pool safety rules are adhered to, he/she is also the first responder in the event of an emergency. If the death of your loved one occurred due to an inexperienced or reckless lifeguard, it is the swimming pool owner that will be held accountable. Also, it is the legal obligation of swimming pool owners to ensure that there are enough lifeguards supervising the swimming pool.
  • Lack of clear signage – Although swimming pool owners are required to put up clear warning signs around the pool, they cannot hide behind the signs in the event of a lawsuit IF the death was as a result of any of the above causes.

When should I not file a wrongful death suit?

  • If the death of your loved one resulted from horseplay and/or activities that were restricted in and around the pool area such as running or diving in a shallow pool, it is not advisable to sue the pool owner, especially if the pool meets all the required pool safety standards.
  • If the victim died from natural causes that were in no way connected to the status of the pool or any insufficiencies of the pool area, you may not have the proper standard of proof which is necessary for you to win the case.

Although pool owners are legally obligated to ensure the safety of the individuals occupying the swimming pool at all times, the swimmers also have a role to play in ensuring their own safety by adhering to the various safety procedures around the pool area.

Swimming Pool Safety Procedures – Do Not Be Caught Unawares

By | Liability, Swimming Pool Tips | No Comments

Being well-versed in the necessary pool safety procedures could mean the difference between life and death in case of an incident. As a pool owner, it could also help you avoid a lot of legal drama if an incident borne from negligence on your part results in the injury or death of an individual. Swimming is a fun recreational activity for people of all ages and also a fantastic way to maintain bodily fitness and optimum health. However, by not observing the necessary pool safety procedures, you could be signing up for a whole lot of trouble.

There are important swimming pool safety guidelines that every pool owner and/or swimmer should be familiar with. While most of them seem obvious, many of us find ourselves ignoring one or two of these safety procedures, especially those that seem “trivial”. To be on the safe side, the following list of pool safety guidelines should give you an idea of what is expected from both the pool owner and the swimmer in and around the swimming pool area.

  • Invest in good swimming lessons especially for your children. Ensure that they learn the proper way to swim from an early age as this will help them develop their skills significantly and be more proficient swimmers as they grow up thereby minimizing the risk of drowning.
  • Ensure that there is constant supervision from a certified life guard, trainer or adult with good swimming skills. In the event of an emergency, the presence of a supervisor who can navigate the waters quickly enough to access a person in distress could save that person’s life or even prevent any significant injury.
  • Always have the proper pool equipment around the pool area. These include Coast-Guard approved life jackets, life rings attached to long ropes, a fiberglass shepherd pole and a well-equipped first aid kit. Ensure that the supervising adult knows how to use all of the mentioned equipment in order to reduce reaction times and improve chances of survival in case of an emergency.
  • The pool owner should ensure that the poolside area is free from obstacles that might cause the swimmers to trip and fall or cause injuries to themselves in any way. Pool covers should be placed well out of the way and the ropes tied neatly to avoid anyone getting entangled in them.
  • Swimmers should not be allowed to enter the pool from anywhere other than the shallow end. Moreover, if the pool has a depth of 1.5 meters or less, diving should be restricted at all costs.
  • It is the responsibility of the pool owner to ensure that the pool side has a functioning alarm system to alert other swimmers in case of an emergency. These may include a PA system or a bell. Also, the poolside should have a functioning telephone which may be required to dial for emergency services in the event of a pool incident.
  • Pool attendants/supervisors should enforce a strict “No Running” rule around the pool area due to the very slippery surface surrounding the pool.
  • Every pool area should be bordered by an appropriate barrier with lockable entries placed beyond the reach of children. Also, no child should be allowed into the swimming area without adult supervision.

In addition to adhering to these rules and regulations, being well versed in CPR is also advisable as the skills will come in handy in the event of an emergency. Swimming pool owners should also restrict the entry of unsupervised toddlers or intoxicated individuals from the pool for obvious reasons.

Electrically Charged Pools – Know These Lurking Dangers

By | Liability, Swimming Pool Tips | No Comments

Most of us are oblivious to one of the most significant dangers of swimming pools and other recreational artificial bodies of water. Getting electrocuted is the last thing anyone would expect to happen when swimming and as such, when it happens, we are rarely prepared.

Although not a common occurrence, 14 people have lost their lives to electrically charged pools over the last 11 years. Many more have suffered injuries ranging from mild to critically severe as a result of negligence, ignorance or a simple lack of knowledge on all the possible dangers of swimming pools.

Swimming pool electrocutions are extremely dangerous both to the individuals inside the pool and those within the immediate surroundings. This is because when it happens, swimmers become immobilized and worse, they become active conduits for the electric current. As such, rescuers who do not observe the proper procedure often find themselves getting electrocuted as well in their attempt to free the victims, leading to a chain of catastrophic reactions that may very well lead to severe consequences.

How do pool electrocutions occur?

An electrically charged pool may be the result of a pump that hasn’t been properly grounded or faulty/improperly installed pool equipment such as heaters and lights. It can also occur when you use electrical appliances or place extension cords near the pool. When this happens, every metallic surface, nearby puddle of water, and person who is in contact with either of the two becomes a potential electrocution hazard.

In the event of an emergency, it is crucial to be prepared in the following ways:

  • Know exactly where all the circuit breakers are positioned in and around the pool. Your first course of action would be to switch them off immediately the individuals in the pool begin to exhibit any signs of being shocked.
  • Find a non-conductive object to try and get them out of the pool as quickly as possible. It is prudent to own a fiberglass or wooden shepherd’s hook as you can use this to pull the victims to safety without causing harm to yourself
  • Call for emergency services immediately everyone is out of the pool and administer CPR if you know how to. Some victims may be knocked out by the charge and might require first aid to get the water out of their lungs.

Preventative Measures

The most effective way to ensure that no one gets injured or killed in a pool electrocution incident is to ensure that it does not occur in the first place. Here are some of the precautions you should observe to that effect:

  1. Do NOT swim shortly before, during or shortly after a thunderstorm.
  2. Ensure that a qualified electrician who is certified in pool and spa repairs and installation sets up your swimming pool for you.
  3. Junction boxes and electrical wires should be placed at least 5 feet away from the water.
  4. Install GFCIs (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters) on pool appliances such as pumps, heaters, the lights within the pool and any lights within 20 feet of the water as an added measure of protection in case a fault occurs. This device will automatically cut off the power when it detects that it is flowing through an unintended path such as water, a metallic object or any other conductive object. Perform regular tests to ensure that it is functioning at all times.

Always inspect the pool and its surroundings for signs of broken conduits, cracked concrete or stray, high-voltage wires. Pool installers often conduct inspections free of charge so you should not hesitate to call on one when you feel the need to have a professional around to conduct a proper inspection.

Legal Obligations of Property Owners with Swimming Pools

By | Liability, Swimming Pool Tips | No Comments

Following any incidences that have occurred in a swimming pool, the property owner is always held accountable for any injuries, damages, or death. Most people fail to grasp the amount of responsibility that comes with owning a pool until they have to face the legal ramifications as a result of negligence. As a pool owner, you should be familiar with your legal obligations to keep the people swimming in your pool safe. Therefore, before you make the decision to own a backyard pool, here are some of the legal obligations pool owners have to shoulder.

1. Supervision

Supervision goes beyond monitoring children and teenagers in the swimming pool. Supervising adults is just as important. Anyone can drown in a swimming pool regardless of age or swimming ability. The suction power of the pool drain is strong enough to hold any full grown adult long enough to result in fatal consequences. Keeping an eye on the pool when it is in use can help to prevent a lot of nasty incidences.

2. Your Pool should be well equipped

Nothing will flip the odds on you faster than evidence of negligence and sub-standard pool equipment. Regardless of the size or purpose of your swimming pool, never skimp on pool equipment. You should possess all the necessary flotation devices and keep them handy by the poolside where they can be used to save a life.

3. Create a Barrier or Hire a Constant Supervisor

If your swimming pool does not have any barriers or fences to keep people away when you are not around, ensure that it is constantly under watch by a skilled adult. An open pool spells potential danger to any wandering children when there are no adults to supervise.

4. Hygiene

Your swimming pool should be regularly cleaned and chlorinated to avoid causing ailments such as asthma and skin conditions to the swimmers. Ideally, you should have it cleaned after every swimming session since the germs from our bodies constitute the worst kind of swimming pool contaminant. Avoid unnecessary litigations by installing a shower near the pool to facilitate showering before and after swimming.

5. Get an Insurance Policy

No matter how many safety precautions you take, it is always prudent to get insurance just to be on the safe side. Accidents always happen and it will benefit you greatly to be well prepared to cope with the situation in case anyone gets hurt or drowns in your swimming pool. Swimming pool experts recommend getting at least $1,000,000 worth of insurance.

A few other things you are legally responsible for as a pool owner is the people you allow inside your pool or premises. Do not let inebriated individuals into the swimming pool because in case they injure themselves or drown, you will be held fully accountable for allowing them to endanger their lives within your premises. Remove all the toys from the pool after swimming to prevent children from being tempted to go into the water when no one is around. A mere “keep out” sign will not do you much good in a lawsuit. Ensure that you are well familiarized with all the legal obligations of a swimming pool owner.

Pool Fencing and Young Children

By | Liability, Swimming Pool Tips | No Comments

One of the most crucial pool safety requirements is the installation of adequate fencing around the pool. This is especially important if your household has any children of 5 years or less as they are the most prone to drowning when swimming unsupervised.

Although many people are well aware of the fact that their backyard pool should be fenced, only a few know the correct pool fencing requirements. This defeats the whole purpose of making the pool a safer place even for young children.

Pool Fencing Requirements

As any swimming pool expert will tell you, a fence or barrier can take many different forms but it has to adhere to a certain set of standards in order to be effective. Although the requirements may vary slightly depending on the location of the pool and the year it was built, they still contribute to ensuring that a pool fence is effective as a child-resistance barrier.

The following requirements are put in place solely for the purpose of preventing little children from being able to squeeze their way through any gaps or openings or being able to climb over the barrier.

1. All pool barriers should measure at least 1.2 meters high from the ground level. Going higher is entirely optional; going lower is not.

2. There should be no gaps bigger than 10cm both between the bottom of the fence and the ground and in between any vertical bars or planks in the barrier itself.

3. The fence should not be climbable. If you cannot avoid placing horizontal bars on the fence, you should space them not less than 90cm apart.

The surroundings of the pool also impact on how effective the barrier is especially when you consider the dexterity of young children who will climb anything to get what they want. As such:

1. The adjacent pool environment should be relatively non-climbable. This will require the removal of any overhanging trees or bushes. You should also ensure that objects such as ladders, tables, chairs, barbeque grills and any other climbable paraphernalia are at least 90cm away from the barrier.

2. Install child resistant gates, doors and windows if your pool fence or barrier requires one. To qualify as child resistant, the openings have to meet the following standards:

· Self-closing (i.e. swings shut on its own).

· Self-latching/locking.

· Also has a non-climbable surface and 90cm zone.

· The latches should be at least 150cm from the ground.

· It must open outwards from the pool.

· Should not have pet doors.

Windows must have locking devices that restrict the opening of the window to 10cm or less. They should also have a security screen.

Types of Pool Fences

There are numerous fencing options out there that will allow you to set up a barrier that matches the design of your house. There are three types of pool fences that are commonly used. These are:

· Aluminum Fences – these are widely preferred because of their elegant and ornamental appeal. They are also more durable than the rest as the aluminum is often powder-coated to enhance its resistance to corrosive agents and scratches. These are also a lot cheaper than iron fences and also significantly lighter.

· PVC – PVC fences are also a common poolside fence and this is mainly attributed to their cheapness and overall effectiveness. PVC barriers mainly consist of slats which are joined together to form a solid and very useful barrier.

· Wooden Fences – Although pricey, wood is great for poolside fencing. However, most people opt for the other options due to the relatively high maintenance requirements wood fences come with.

The simple act of creating an effective child-proof barrier around your pool can mean the difference when it comes to preventing accidental tragedies. Always ensure that your fence meets all the necessary requirements.



Remembering the Dangers of Swimming Pools in Fall and Winter

By | Liability, Swimming Pool Tips | No Comments

Summer is coming to an end and now more than ever, you need to keep yourself and your
loved ones safe from the dangers of swimming pools. As the cooler weather sets
in, swimming pools become less used although just as dangerous when the proper
safety measures are not observed. It is imperative that you keep observing pool
safety practices in addition to employing some new practices to ensure that
everyone stays safe even when the pool is not in use.

Common Risks 

Fall is now in full swing and people are beginning to shy away from swimming as the
weather gets cooler and cooler. As much as public swimming pools are risky,
they do not compare to the dangerous nature of private backyard pools especially
during the fall and the winter. Most people fail to observe the necessary
preventative measures to ensure that no accidents occur during these two

Unfortunately,children are the most common victims of fatal backyard pool accidents. Negligence
plays a huge part in the occurrence of these tragic incidences. To put things
in perspective, a total of 137 children below 15 years old drowned this summer
alone according to the CPSC. 

The ominous risk of drowning doubles every time children are left unsupervised in
swimming pools or if the swimming pool area is not safe for kids. Other than
drowning, the slippery poolside area and contaminated pool water remain two
prevalent causes of swimming pool injuries and ailments. 

Preventative Measures

1. Pool Covers

The topic of pool covers is still a controversial one owing to the fact that they
have contributed to a large number of drowning incidences. Although primarily
used to cover the pool in order to prevent contamination from debris (such as
falling leaves during autumn), some can actually minimize the risk of drowning.

There are three types of pool covers:

  • Solar pool covers
  • Winter pool covers
  • Safety pool covers

People often make the mistake of thinking that all types of pool covers can serve both
purposes when in fact the safety pool covers are the best suited for preventing
drowning during the fall. Ideally, a winter pool cover is recommended for the
chilly winter period.

2. Fences

Fencing the area around the pool is a great way to prevent accidents involving children
under the age of 5 years old. As advised by,
the fence should be fairly automated with self-latching gates and alarms
that go off when the gates are opened without an adult’s knowledge. 

3. Pool Drains

A number of tragic pool accidents occur as a result of uncovered pool drains.
Investing in a quality anti-entrapment covers is a wise move that will protect
the swimmers from the strong suction power of the drain. 

4. Swimming Lessons

It goes without saying that good swimming skills are a necessary preventative
measure against drowning. Ensure that every member of your family gets the
necessary training from a certified swimming instructor.

5. First Aid Skills

CPR is easy to learn and a crucial skill in times of tragedy. Teaching even the youngest
members of your family the basic first aid techniques is an important step
towards minimizing the risk of tragedy occurring in your backyard swimming

Remember, adult supervision should always be present whenever there are people in the swimming
pool. Keep those first aid skills sharpened and those emergency contacts ready
at all times.

Why a swimming pool owner has a legal duty to safeguard

By | Liability, Swimming Pool Tips | No Comments

Swimming pool owners are required to maintain the safety of their pool area. A swimming
pool is a structure that is attached to fealty. For this reason, it is regarded
as property. 

All property owners have a social and civil duty to make sure that their property
remains safe at all times. Herein are several reasons why a swimming pool owner
has legal duty to safeguard.


According to the Residential and Commercial Swimming pool Safety Act, there are certain
duties afforded to a swimming pool owner regarding safety measures and
barriers. This duty is owed both under common law and under the Occupiers
Liability Act of 1957.

For swimming pool owners; there are three different kinds of duty. These duties may
sometimes overlap. The first is the duty that attaches property occupiers in
respect of the state of the property which has to be judged in the context of
the purpose for which the visitor is in the pool. 

Secondly, there are swimming pools which cannot be termed as unsafe but may bear some
hidden dangers. Finally, there are those pools whereby activities have been
permitted that may give rise to dangerous situation themselves. Under all three
scenarios, the 1957 Act obliges the property owners to provide structures or
premises that are reasonably safe for whatever activities are allowed to be
carried out within them.

In the event of any incidences, the individual cases will be fact sensitive. However,
it is still very important for swimming pool owners to provide safeguard. It is
likely that common law would not arise in some cases but it still remains a
social obligation for the pool owner. The reason for this is that swimmers
would naturally assume that there should be some sort of safeguard since they
understand that to be the norm. 

Depending on whether the swimming pool is residential or commercial, any arising legal
cases can go in either direction. In some instances, owners who fail to provide
safeguard can be held liable to prosecution for misdemeanor. This is because
severe injury or death can result due to this negligence.


It does not take a swimming pool expert to know that drowning is a leading cause
of preventable death in children under the age of 5 years. For this reason, a
swimming pool owner has special duty in regards to child trespassers. Under the
child trespassers doctrine, the pool owner can be found liable for any injuries
suffered by a trespassing child. The same owner may be let off if the
trespasser is an adult. 

Attractive nuisance refers to anything that could arouse the curiosity of a small child
and attract them into premises to investigate the said object. In a court of
law, water bodies including swimming pools may be classified as attractive
nuisance. Due to a child’s inability to reason, they will likely be attracted
to an accessible pool therefore endangering their safety. The supreme court of
the respective state sets forth the regulations for determining if something is
or is not an attractive nuisance in individual cases.

For these are numerous other reasons, all swimming pool owners have to implement
certain safety procedure including but not limited to setting up enclosures, incorporating
mesh pool fencing, employing pool safety covers, hiring lifeguards, swimming
pool alarms and depth indicators.

Not even a minute – leaving a child unattended at a pool

By | Swimming Pool Accidents, Swimming Pool Tips | No Comments

Swimming pools are great for recreational activities and all round family fun for both
adults and children. However, they can also be a source of great unexpected
anguish and adverse eventualities. Drowning is well known to take the lives of
more toddlers than any other type of recreational accident. Additionally, the
children who are lucky enough to survive a near drowning experience are often
afflicted with temporary or permanent brain damage from the lack of oxygen.

Children between the ages of one and four are at the greatest risk of being involved in
a water body incident. The main reason for this phenomenon is that at this age,
children are extremely active and full of curiosity. They are always learning
new skills every day and adults have to keep a keen eye on them at all times.
They can suddenly learn how to operate doors and wonder off to the swimming
pool area.

One common misconception about drowning is that it happens dramatically with the
victims flailing around in the water. The truth is that drowning is rather event less. A child can fall into a swimming pool and drown silently without
ever calling out for help. There are numerous cases of people drowning right in
the midst of experienced swimmers without anyone even noticing. 

These incidences clearly emphasize the importance of not leaving a child unattended
at a pool for even one minute. A child can drown in about a minute or two. A
large percentage of child drowning happen at the homes of the parents,
neighbors or relatives. Fortunately, these are some measures that parents and
caregivers can take to prevent such incidences.


The supervision of children around the swimming pool should never be undertaken as
normal supervision, whereby the parent or caregiver checks on them from time to
time. This active supervision involves keeping the children in direct sight at
all times. Parents must never leave a child alone in or around a swimming pool,
even for a few seconds. This is regardless of whether the child knows how to
swim or is wearing standard issue floaters. 

If there are many children, caregivers can assign some of the supervisory work to
a responsible older child or teenager. This assistant should be carefully
instructed to keep the children in direct sight and at arm’s length at all
times. It is important to always keep rescue equipment such as the safety rings
and long poles within easy reach in case of anything. If parents are having a
private pool party, they should consider enlisting the services of a
professional lifeguard.


Barriers are essential for keeping the children away from the pool area when it is not
being used. The pool gate and fences should meet the recommended safety
standards including a self-closing gate than open away from the pool side.
Always use safety locks whenever the swimming pool is not in use. 

All the doors and windows leading to the pool area should close and latch
automatically. The latch releases should be child proof and out of reach of
young children. It is also advisable to invest in swimming pool alarms.

It is also very important that children are taught how to swim when they are old
enough. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the recommended age is
4 years. This should not replace active adult supervision but complement it.

The aftermath of a swimming pool accident

By | Liability, Swimming Pool Accidents, Swimming Pool Injuries | No Comments

Accidents at the pool can happen at any time and to anyone. A number of injuries can
result from the use of swimming pools and similar recreational water environments.
The types of swimming pool accidents according to a swimming pool expert
include drowning and non-fatal or near-drowning, major impact injuries, slip,
trip and fall injuries as well as disembowelment. The major impact injuries
often affect the spine, brain and head areas.

Of all these accidents drowning or near-drowning is by far the most common.
Drowning is a major cause of death on its own accord. In the United States
alone, more than 7,000 drowning deaths are recorded nationally every year.
Also, more than 80 % of these drowning deaths occur in residential swimming

Near-drowning accidents are also very common especially among children. Over 5,000 children
below the age of 14 are hospitalized each year for near-drowning events. It is
therefore very important for all parents, caregivers and poolside supervisor to
know how exactly to respond in case of any swimming pool accident.

Near-drowning and Drowning

A victim can still be saved if they are actively drowning. Drowning victims will often
bob in a vertical motion in the water and will be unable to call out for help.
It is important to note that drowning only takes a few minutes so every second
counts. If there is no lifeguard around the pool area, the caregiver will have
to rescue the victim. 

Knowing how to spot a drowning person is very important. Most people erroneously focus
on sounds or calls for help. Actively drowning victims will be silent and will
have their mouths just above the water surface. They will often not be moving
in any direction. 

The rescue procedure

The first thing caregivers should do is ask any adults present to call for help
before jumping into the water. The person conducting the rescue has to exhibit
calmness and composure throughout the operation.

People who are drowning are known to cling on to their rescuers and endangering both
their lives. Diving in after the victim is only recommended if the victim is
completely underwater or is a young child. Alternatively, a floatation device
or a long pole can be used to avoid endangering the life of another person. 

First Aid

Once the victim is out of the water, they must be examined for any signs of
breathing. This is done by placing one’s ear next to the victim’s mouth or
nose. The victim’s pulse should also be checked for about 10 seconds. If there
is not pulse, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has to be performed

In commercial pools, someone who is trained in CPR and first aid is required to be
present at all times. If not, the caregiver can perform CPR by administering 30
chest compressions about 2 inches down at a rate of 100 compressions per minute
while constantly checking for breathing.

All attempts should be made to keep the victim alive until medical help arrives. In
the event that the victim dies, the police will be contacted immediately.
Following any pool accident, the entire area is closed off and all users have
to exit the pool. 

For all pools, a plan of action for emergencies should be available and always practiced.
The plan often involves coordination with the local emergency response team
first at the site, procedures for evacuation and contacting the authorities in
case of any accidents and the cleaning up process in case bleeding is involved.