Hidden swimming pool dangers

By Amy Davis - Reporter/Consumer Expert

HOUSTON - With pools set to open across the country in just a couple of weeks, many parents are scrambling to get their kids registered in swim lessons and classes. But drowning is just one of the dangers of pools. KPRC Local 2 Consumer Expert Amy Davis explains the biggest safety concerns you need to keep in mind before you dive in this summer.

Between 2008 and 2012, 39 incidents of drain entrapments were reported to the consumer product safety commission. Two children died. Last year, super star Usher's 5-year-old son almost drowned when his arm got stick in a drain while he was trying to retrieve a toy that had sunk to the bottom of the pool.

Children's public wading pools and in-ground spas that have flat drain grates pose the greatest risk of entrapment. Stay away from drains and take precaution with long hair. Don't wear jewelry or loose fitting swim wear. Click here for more information on drain dangers.

Last summer Raul Hernandez was electrocuted in the pool of a local hotel. Police say improper wiring to a pool light was to blame. While you can't inspect the electrical work at public pools, you should check the license status and credentials of any electrician before you hire them. Experts say you should also use battery-operated appliances instead of cord-connected appliances in and around the pool to limit the risk of electrocution.

And lastly, the same chemicals used to keep pools clean and safe can also make you sick. A new Centers for Disease Control report links 5,000 visits to the emergency room in 2012 to pool chemicals. Nearly half of the patients were children and teens and more than a third of the incidents occurred at a home. Most often people were overcome by strong vapors or fumes from the chemicals. Always use goggles and masks when handling pool chemicals and never mix chlorine products with acids.

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