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Pool Safety

Ahhh . . . summer . . . the time of year when most Texans are trying to find any way they can to cool off.  Air conditioners live on full blast and pools – whether in ground our above – abound.  Unfortunately, with school out, the mischievous side of little boys abound as well.

Image result for mischevous look

 

I will never forget the summer my son was in between 1st and 2nd grade.  It was hot and we had one of those blue pools that you can find at any big box retail store.

 

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The pool we had chosen only came up to my son’s hips, so we felt comfortable leaving him and his friend, Gary, to play in it unsupervised . . . or at least they thought it was unsupervised.  Unbeknownst to them, I was perched with a book on our sofa where I could watch to make sure they were safe.

Now, let this be a lesson to any new parents out there . . . little boys are fast and they can get into trouble faster than you can blink.  Brandon and Gary had been in the pool for an hour when I decided to walk the 5 feet into my kitchen to grab a glass of sweet tea.  I was gone, at most, three minutes.  When I returned, they were still there though the scene from my window had gone from calm oasis to something out of a Dukes of Hazzard episode!

 

Image result for dukes of hazzard car jump

 

Those two little stinkers had gone and gotten some wood and cement blocks my husband had stored in his shop and made themselves a ramp and were jumping Brandon’s bike INTO THE POOL!

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Needless to say, their pool time was over and 5 pizzas later they were dry, full, and busy playing video games safely in Brandon’s bedroom.  They probably don’t even remember it, but it’s a day I will never forget and it brings to mind just how dangerous pools can be if not properly protected. 

According to the CDC, there are an average of 3,536 fatal accidental drownings annually in the United States.  That’s around 10 deaths per day!  About 1 in 5 of those are children 14 and younger.

In the insurance business, a pool is what is called an “attractive nuisance.”  That means it looks fun, but can be dangerous and it tends to draw children to your yard.  Trampolines fit this description too!  There are things you can do to help lessen the risk of injury like:

  • Make sure your children know how to swim

  • Provide safety equipment

  • Have a four sided fence around the pool

  • Supervise when in or around water

  • Use the buddy system

  • Learn CPR

  • Avoid alcohol

  • Don’t let swimmers hyperventilate before swimming underwater or try to hold their breath for long periods of time

  • Don’t use pool noodles, water wings, or other floaties as safety devices

  • Know how to prevent recreational water illnesses

  • Know the local weather conditions

  • Don’t run when around the pool

  • Keep the pool and deck free of toys

If you use these, you can decrease the risk of injury a great deal.  However, as a homeowner, there are other factors that you should be aware of as well should someone be injured.  Did you know that, if a child 13 or under is hurt in your pool, you are responsible even if that child was trespassing?  It doesn’t matter if you have a fence.  If that child climbs over  to access your pool, you are still responsible.  That means you may have to pay any medical expenses that result from that injury.  Though homeowners insurance can’t keep uninvited visitors away, it can help protect your assets in the event there is an accident at your watery oasis.  Give us a call today and one of our representatives will be happy to give you a quote or help you look over your current policy so that you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you’re doing everything you can to keep everyone safe this summer!

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