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Swimming pools, spas pose summer dangers

New Yorkers are gearing up for the summer season of beach days, pool parties and backyard barbecues. But before diving into the deep end (or allowing others to), take a minute to make sure that your pool doesn't pose dangers to yourself or others.

The primary cause of accidental drownings is unfettered access to a pool by those who have few or no swimming skills. There's a reason that pools and spas are labeled "attractive nuisances." Without sturdy fencing at least 4-feet high with locks in place on the gates, your summer fun zone can quickly turn deadly.

Another smart idea is to have pool alarms that go off to alert you that someone has fallen into the pool. This is also a good safety precaution for those with curious pets. Dogs and even some cats can be taught how to swim to the steps, but it takes patience and reinforcement. Some homeowners go an extra step and install retractable pool covers to eliminate the possibility of a small child or non-swimming adult falling in and drowning when the homeowners are away from the house.

Some pools are designed where the house is the fourth wall surrounding them. If such is the case on your property, you should install alarms on the doors leading out to the pool.

Ladders to above-ground pools should be removed and locked away when not in use to discourage access by neighborhood kids.

Drain entrapment is another danger of pools and spas alike. Entrapment can occur if a swimmer's clothing, hair, jewelry or body parts get attached to the powerful suction of an underwater drain or the water circulation system. Death by drowning or evisceration can occur within minutes.

If you or your child was harmed in someone else's pool or spa, you may be able to file a premises liability claim and request financial damages for the injuries and medical expenses.

Source: Pool Safely, "Summer Safety Barrier Checklist for Pool and Spa Owners," accessed May 04, 2018

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