When you live in the south, you know the drill: as the summer wears on, the temperature continues to rise (even resulting in multiple digit days!) Cooling off in your pool is a great relief from the heat—but beware: there are dangers that come with it too.
Your Dog Will Want to ‘Cool Down’
The hotter it is, the more desperate your furry friends will become. If you have a dog or cat in your home, it’s important to take precautions for their safety, just as you do for your children. Install safety equipment such as a pool safety fence, and a lock on your doggy door to minimize their unsupervised exposure to your pool. Pets can drown too—and often do, the hotter the weather becomes.
The Danger of Long Swims and Overheating
The longer you’re out in your backyard enjoying your pool, the more at risk you become for overheating. In fact, if you’re in a pool for a few hours at 80 degrees or warmer, you may experience dizziness and fatigue. The warmer the temperature outside, the warmer your pool becomes—and if it’s too warm, it can lead to body spasms.
A Higher Risk of Infection
Summer is officially here, which means that your swimming pool will be used more frequently. Even when you keep your chemicals at the appropriate level, infections with swimmers can still develop (some germs can even take minutes, or days to die in the water.) The hotter the weather is (many Southern states reach multiple digits in July and August), the more you’ll risk infections developing, such as skin rashes, and the most common of all, diarrhea. In both public pools (or your own pool that hasn’t been properly chemically treated) the risk of fungal infections can increase by 200 percent!
The Biggest Risk of All: Drowning
Every year, there are over 7,000 pool related accidents a year—with 20 percent of those accidents leading to severe and/or permeant drowning related injuries. In addition, the majority of swimming fatalities for children (5 and under) occur in home swimming pools. The hotter it becomes, the greater the risk for drowning becomes, because the duration of swimming gets longer. Make sure that you follow these helpful tips to minimize the risk of drowning, and increase the safety of your loved ones all year long:
- Inflatable toys are not ‘safe’ enough. Placing floating on your children’s arms, or blowing up a few inflatable loungers is not enough to prevent a drowning. Remember: these toys are approved for ‘fun’ – not for safety.
- Install a safety fence around your pool. There’s no accident quite as devastating as one in which a child fell and drown in a pool, unattended. The hotter it becomes, the more tempting your pool will be. So, in order to keep your children safe at all times, invest in safety pool equipment such as a fence and alarm. That way, if they get too close to your pool while you’re cooking dinner or gardening, you can be alerted right away.
The Risk of Dry Drowning
You already may know the risk of drowning while in the pool, but dry drowning is the new risk of summertime—and the more you understand it, the more you’ll be able to lower your risk. Dry drowning occurs when a loved one is already out of the pool and typically occurs in children. When water has entered their lungs, and prevents oxygen from moving to the bloodstream as it should, they may experience trouble breathing, vomiting or bubbling at the mouth.
Now that you know the dangers of your pool and summertime swimming in the south, you can take defensive action to prevent it. Supervise your children at all times, monitor how long you swim at a time (take a break once an hour to avoid overheating), and make sure you stay on top of your pH levels. These tips will help to ensure you have a healthy and happy summer, all season long.