Researchers from Nationwide Children’s Hospital have found that more youth are being rushed to the hospital for swimming related injuries than ever before.
Dr. Gary Smith, a pediatric emergency physician at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH, believes the rise in injury is directly related to lack of parental supervision.
“We were surprised by how common the injuries were. On average, there’s one swimming injury every six minutes,” Dr. Smith says. “You need to be 100 percent attentive. Getting injured on the playground is different than getting hurt in the water. If you slip under water and your heart stops beating, that’s final.”
Lifeguards do their best to monitor activity in public pool spaces. However, when monitoring a popular pool with lots of swimmers, it is a challenge keeping an eye on everything at once. However, all parents can keep their children safe when they are swimming by being mindful of their kids and always being present when they are in the water.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Pool injuries are far too common. Tripping hazards are often found around the pool deck; ranging anywhere from towels to water toys. Slippery decks and uneven spaces may also cause injury if you do not take proper precaution. Jumping into shallow water, running on decks or falling into the pool and on to another person can also cause serious injury. Be cautious, as tripping and/or falling into the pool may even lead to drowning, especially if the individual suffers from any form of head trauma. The most common outcome, however is generally bruises, cuts or broken bones.
Keep a careful eye on your children while at the pool and set ground rules to prevent slips, trips and falls. Lay out strict pool safety guidelines, such as “no running near the pool.” Also, be sure to pick up any discarded items on pool decks, as they can become tripping hazards.
Serious injuries may also occur due to unsafe diving. Over 25,000 people experience diving-related injuries each year that require emergency treatment, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Other diving-related injuries include twisted knees, ankles, wrists and elbows. Swelling or stiffness from a sprained joint can be extremely painful, and injured joints are difficult to recover from. Swimming lessons will help your child learn proper diving techniques and water safety. In order to practice safe diving, it is important to ensure that everyone is aware of the pool’s depth. Remind the child to always enter feet first to check the depth in order to avoid diving into shallow water.
Chlorine is an important part of keeping your family safe from water-born bacteria in the pool. However, some swimmers may be sensitive to chemicals used in the pool. Allergic reactions can be identified by irritation in the eyes, ears, airways or skin. If children mention they have stinging in their eyes, throat, or if a rash occurs on their skin, flush the affected area and consult a doctor. This may also be caused due to unbalanced PH levels in the pool, therefore it’s important to conduct regular PH tests.