Florida enjoys year-round warm weather, allowing us to enjoy swimming pools and pool parties when much of the country is dealing with snow and ice. While pools are exciting and a great way to beat the heat, they have some inherent dangers that parents need to consider before hosting a child pool party. By taking these things into account, families can avoid pool hazards and any legal consequences that may accompany an accident that occurs around or in the pool.
Drowning is obviously the biggest hazard with pools. It may be the result of a swimmer’s inexperience, or a defect in the pool or its drain could create the hazard. The area around the pool can be dangerous. It’s usually slippery, and if someone falls and hits his or her head, it can lead to a serious head injury. Some may slip and fall into the pool, which can create a drowning risk.
10 Ways to Reduce Pool Hazards at a Child’s Pool Party
Below are 10 safety steps parents can take before hosting a pool party:
- Have parents come with their children. By having parents supervise their children, there are more eyes to watch and prevent accidents and drowning.
- Create pool safety rules: Children shouldn’t swim in water they cannot handle, dive in shallow water or roughhouse around the pool. Making the rules visible allows partygoers and their parents to observe them. Also verbally tell parents and their children the rules.
- Make sure the pool has a proper drain: Drains should include anti-entrapment devices and comply with ASME/ASNI A112.19.9-2007 requirements. They can also have release valves, automatic shut offs and other safety features.
- Check chemical levels before the day of the event: It may take a couple of days to adjust the chemical levels, so make sure they’re correct before the party.
- Make sure you have proper pool barriers and fences. If you take the party inside for a bit, the barrier can prevent children from accessing the pool without adult supervision.
- Learn CPR: Make sure you or someone at the party know CPR. It could save a life in the event of an accident.
- Hire a lifeguard. Similarly, if feasible, you might consider hiring a trained lifeguard to watch the children around the pool. This doesn’t mean you do not have to supervise, however.
- Make sure electrical devices stay away from the pool: Electrical devices can cause electrical injury if around water.
- Buy sunscreen and water. Keep the kids protected from the sun by supplying sunscreen and asking parents bring sunscreen for their children. Also ensure you have water available to avoid dehydration.
- Have extra flotation devices. These can be invaluable in the event a child is having trouble swimming to the side of the pool. Be careful, though, because certain inflatable pool toys can pose dangers.
Legal Liability of Pool Owners in the Event of an Injury
In addition to the ethical and moral obligation to keep children safe at their parties, the legal concern for pool owners is that if a child is injured, the pool owners may be liable if they were negligent. There are also potential product liability claims related to a pool drain or other components.
Chalik & Chalik is committed to helping Florida parents keep their kids safe. Check out the Parents’ Corner section of our blog for more safety-related blogs.