No one wants to swim in a dirty pool, and that’s why pools need a circulation system to maintain water quality. When a pool’s filtering system doesn’t work, bacteria and dirt are collected, often turning the water green over time. Filtering systems are important to have in every pool, but can also be a source of danger to children, especially their drains and vacuums—points where water is initially sucked from the pool into the system.
There have been terrible stories of people getting trapped underwater by these systems. In 2014, a 4-year old’s hand was trapped in the vacuum of a pool in Davao. Thankfully he survived, however there have been instances of death in the past. The two common dangers associated with filtering systems are entrapment and hair entanglement, mostly caused by the drain. Drains are commonly located on the pool’s floor, or near it. Entrapment occurs when the suction power of a drain is so strong that it causes a human body to get stuck to it, while hair entanglement is when hair is sucked into the drain causing pain and sometimes entrapment as well.
These dangers are a serious cause for concern, but thankfully there ways to avoid such a disaster. Here are some safety precautions you can take:
Before entering a pool, locate where the pool’s drains, skimmers, or other suction points are and teach children to stay away them. While pool drains are located at the bottom of the pool, skimmers and vacuums are along the walls, with skimmers along the water’s surface.
Make sure drains have proper covers. Some covers tend to be safer than others, as there are newer, anti-entrapment covers. These covers are dome-shaped with small openings to prevent a body from completely sealing it. Flat filters tend to be more dangerous and prone to entrapment.
Check if the pool has more than one suction point. Pools with more than one suction point have weaker suction strengths as it is distributed between different points. This makes it less likely for a human to get stuck to it.
Check if the pool has a vacuum release system. This is a safety feature for newer pools, wherein the machine can sense if something is blocking a suction point, and will immediately halt suction to release whatever is blocking it.
Know where the pool’s pumping motor is located so that you may shut it off in case of an emergency.
As always, do not let a child swim without adult supervision.
How We Help
At The Noodies Swim School, we make sure safety is given top priority. Our first session always ensures that the students know their ways around the pool, and are aware of the hazards that may be inside, especially by the walls. It's always important to educate our students to avoid any accidents.