It’s important to think about safety for all swimmers that you invite to your swimming pool. Sometimes, you have to adjust your precautions based on the swimmers. For example, if young children visit your pool, it’s a good idea to have extra supervision. If there is alcohol near the pool, you might want to make rules about swimming and drinking. When you have disabled swimmers in the water, there are certain precautions you should take.
Some people are hesitant to include people with disabilities because they don’t understand how to prevent injuries or are afraid the risk for problems is higher. Actually, the focus should be on minimizing risk instead of excluding people with disabilities. There are a number of factors you can consider if you are disabled or if your swimming pool will regularly be used by disabled people.
There are several items you should consider when it comes to swim safety for disabled swimmers. These include accessibility, injury prevention, emergency action plans and a thorough understanding of the disability and what sort of support the person needs.
Many people with disabilities don’t need a lot of extra support. They understand their needs and don’t have special concerns. If you’re worried about their needs, the best thing to do is ask the person or his or her caretaker. Communication is the key to making sure people feel comfortable. This will prevent unnecessary fussing which can embarrass the person.
Injury prevention is always a concern at the swimming pool. You should always have rescue equipment on hand if you own a pool. Ask the person or his or her companion about particular challenges such as seizures, vision loss, hearing or other issues that could complicate an emergency. You need to have emergency plans to rescue all swimmers. If any swimmers are in peril, it’s important that you know what challenges may affect rescue.
Accessibility can be an issue for some people. If you or a family member face challenges getting in or out of the pool, chair lifts are an option. Lifts require training but can be a great help for people with disabilities.
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