With Labor Day approaching, many people are planning to have that end of summer pool party with friends and family. The long holiday weekend is the perfect time to enjoy good food, good company and take the last dip in the pool before closing it down for winter. However, to ensure that the party is enjoyed by all and does not become a tragic nightmare, it is important that you take appropriate precautions if alcohol is going to be served at the party. Many may think that the only necessary precaution is to make sure that guests who consume alcohol don’t get behind the wheel of a car at the end of the night. While that is an obvious and essential precaution, drunk driving is not the only risk that needs to be addresses. Another significant risk of death and serious injury that needs to be protected against is the use of the pool by intoxicated guests.
It is well recognized that swimming and alcohol do not mix. Alcohol presents many hazards to a swimmer by impairing both their physical and mental abilities:
- It impairs judgment causing swimmers to misjudge their swimming ability or to engage in risky behavior such as diving into a shallow pool or jumping off a high surface into the pool. There are too many stories involving individuals who have broken their necks and either died or became paralyzed when diving into a pool after having a few drinks.
- It impairs balance and coordination affecting a person’s swimming and diving skills.
- It caused cognitive impairment that may result in a swimmer becoming disoriented or confused while underwater and swimming down rather than up.
- It causes a warm sensation while actually decreasing body temperature which may result in a swimmer remaining in cold water too long and suffering from hypothermia.
- It may also impair the swimmer’s ability to keep their airway closed underwater resulting in them swallowing water into their lungs.
It is especially important to make sure that underage children are not allowed to drink alcohol at the party due to their inability to recognize how little alcohol it takes to impair their judgment. Therefore, if alcohol is going to be served at the party, it is important that you take appropriate steps to make sure that alcohol is not served to guests who are going to use the pool and to have a designated person refrain from consuming alcohol and supervise the water activities.
A little planning and supervision is all it takes to ensure that your end of summer pool party is safe and enjoyable for everyone. If you or a family member has been injured by a combination of alcohol consumption and unsupervised water activities, pleasecontact us.