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Swimming pools and spas can be entrapment hazards

One of the benefits of living in Florida is being able to enjoy swimming year round in pools and soaking in outdoor spas. However, there are inherent safety hazards with both activities.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that almost 300 hundred children 4 and under drown annually in pools. Another 3,200 require emergency room treatment after being submerged. It's vital to watch kids in and around water at all times. There also needs to be physical barriers to the water, and doors opening out to the pool should be armed with alarms.

Yet another danger is underwater entrapment from the suction from the pool's drain. The force is so strong, even adults can get trapped and drown. Never allow anyone to use a spa or pool that has drain covers missing. Entrapment can cause fatal disembowelment and evisceration. Limbs, the trunk of the body and the victim's hair can all get caught in the powerful suction, as can bathing suit material and jewelry.

If you have a backyard pool, all family members should learn to swim. Even those who don't enjoy getting in the pool should learn simple water safety maneuvers in the event they have to enter the water in an emergency.

If you have a pool or spa, make sure that it complies with all federal and state safety regulations. If you are injured at a public pool or while swimming in another homeowner's pool, under the premises liability laws of the state of Florida, you may have grounds for filing a claim for damages for your injuries.

Source: poolsafely.gov, "Pool and Spa Safety," accessed Jan. 22, 2016

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