With summer just around the corner, many plan to spend a weekend at Philadelphia’s public swimming pools or water parks to beat the heat. But while taking a dip may sound like a refreshing idea, it’s important to remember that even swimming pools open to the public can have injury risks.
Injury risks in public swimming pools
The risk of drowning aside, many things can cause injuries in public swimming pools that aren’t immediately apparent to swimmers. They include:
- Poorly maintained facilities: Swimming pool operators that fail to maintain the upkeep of their pools are bound to have issues like damaged tiles and chipped edges. These things can wound swimmers if not addressed.
- Broken equipment: Similarly, ill-maintained and broken equipment such as pumps and filters can lead to accidents or even illnesses for swimmers.
- Too many chemicals in the water: While necessary to keep the water clean, pool chemicals can be toxic to swimmers in higher concentrations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2008, nearly 4,600 persons required emergency care for pool chemical-related injuries.
- Injuries from water slides: Water parks may have slides that – whether due to poor design or lack of safety considerations – can cause injuries for swimmers. Swimmers may end up slamming into the tube slides at high speeds or eject from the slides too quickly and hit other swimmers or the pool floor.
- Lack of lifeguards: While not directly a risk itself, the lack of lifeguards and safety equipment in a public swimming pool raises the chances that an accident or drowning could occur.
Public pool owners and liability
By state law, pool owners owe every guest swimmer a duty to keep their premises safe. This means that if a swimmer gets injured due to something that resulted from the pool owner’s negligence – including the items enumerated above – the swimmer can hold the operator responsible.
Swimmers who get injured due to the negligence of a public pool owner may file a premises liability lawsuit. A lawyer practicing premises liability law can help the wounded by representing them in their case and fighting for compensation.