Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

Pool Owners Warned of Electrocution Risk

Electrocution dangers lurk in swimming pools and hot tubs. Is yours safe?

WebMD Health News

May 23, 2003 -- As pool season officially begins this weekend at public and private swimming pools across the country, federal safety officials are warning of hidden danger often overlooked by pool owners -- electrocution. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says that electrical hazards in and around swimming pools have been responsible for 60 deaths and nearly 50 serious electrical shocks in the last 13 years.

Aside from taking steps to reduce the danger of drowning in backyard swimming pools, the CPSC says pool owners should also perform an electrical safety check before opening their pools to swimmers. Officials say the areas of biggest concern are:

  • Faulty underwater lighting
  • Aging electrical wiring that hasn't been inspected in years
  • Use of sump pumps, power washers, and vacuums that aren't grounded
  • Use of electrical appliances, such as radios and TVs, or extension cords that could fall or be pulled into the water.

All of these hazards pose an even greater risk if the lighting, circuits, and nearby receptacles are not protected by ground-fault circuit-interrupters (GFCIs), which greatly reduce the danger of electrocution.

"The best protection for families is inspection, detection, and correction of electrical hazards in and around swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas," says CPSC Chairman Hal Stratton, in a news release. "CPSC strongly encourages residential and commercial pool owners and operators to upgrade protection of the lights, receptacles, and switches with GFCIs. Older pools are the biggest concern, as underwater lighting fixtures may have degraded with age and may not be protected by GFCIs."

The CSPC and American Red Cross also warn that electrical hazards can cause multiple injuries when others jump in the water to aid someone who is incapacitated by electrical shock. They say parents and pool owners should have an emergency plan in place and posted in the pool area to instruct users on how to help someone who is suffering from electrical shock.

In case of an electrical emergency, the American Red Cross recommends turning off all power, using a fiberglass hook to carefully remove the victim from the water, administering CPR, and calling 911.

1 | 2 | 3

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

hand circling date on calendar
Track your most fertile days.
woman looking at ultrasound
Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
The signs to watch out for.
pregnant woman in hospital
Are there ways to do it naturally?
slideshow fetal development
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
What Causes Bipolar
Woman trying on dress in store
pregnant woman
Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
healthtool pregnancy calendar
eddleman prepare your body pregnancy