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“Michael “Squints” Palledorous Walked a Little Taller That Day”

We’ve all thought about trying it. You’re at the pool and that one scene from “The Sandlot”, when “Squints” tricks Wendy Peffercorn into giving him mouth-to-mouth, is running through your mind. However, as great as that scene is, it plants the seed of complacency around pools. School’s out for summer, and now pools could become an accident waiting to happen.

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There are very obvious dangers when frequenting pools: drowning, extreme heat stroke, head, neck, and back injuries from shallow diving, bee stings, scraps, etc. However, the greatest danger around any body of water is complacency and disregard.

When you’re out at the pool be aware of your surroundings. Look for signage around the pool explaining diving restrictions, slippery surfaces, and chemical conditions. Ask the lifeguards about the condition of the pool and if there are any trouble spots you should avoid such as broken tiles or guardrails. While it is a lifeguard’s job to keep watch and aid their patrons, it is your job to fully understand all of the rules, warnings, and restrictions of the pool. For example, many public pools are beginning to ban pool toys for children and have placed restrictions on the types of floatation devices allowed in the water. A good rule of thumb for “floaties” is to look for a chest band which will support the child, different from something like water wings which will merely keep the child’s arms above the water. Furthermore, understand your particular pool’s rules about diving into and using the deep end of the pool. Oftentimes if there are diving boards those are perpetually open unless otherwise stated. Finally, never run on deck.

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When frequenting a pool remember to pack lots of drinking water and sunscreen. If you have children heed the 15 minute “adult swim” break and give them a rest. Reapply their sunscreen, make them drink some water, feed them. If you have questions or need anything such as a Band-Aid or aspirin, do not ask the lifeguards currently sitting in the stand or watching the pool. Their attention needs to be focused fully on the pool and those swimming. Instead, find a lifeguard who is on a break from guarding or who is sitting in the designated guard office. If you see a lifeguard that is not giving proper attention to the pool while they are in the stand, bring that behavior up to the manager or head guard. If you know you are not a strong swimmer, let the guard in your area of the pool know, and if you feel unsafe or tired, never fear asking for help.

Going to the pool is an American tradition and for many children going alone is a rite of passage into adulthood, however, one must never become overly complacent around any body of water. Pools are a blast, but responsibility and care must be used around them. …unless of course Wendy Peffercorn is there.

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Thomas J. Curcio
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Tom Curcio, the driving force behind Curcio Law, is a dedicated trial lawyer with more than 35 years of experience in Northern Virginia. He has dedicated his career to representing people who have been seriously injured through no fault of their own. He works tirelessly to obtain the compensation his clients are legally entitled to…

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