Swimming Pool Accidents
Poolside and other swimming-related accidents or drownings at one time were the second leading cause of death of children under 14 years of age. From drowning to accidents involving poolside diving boards or maintenance equipment, the pool can be a dangerous place to swim.
Each year over 1,000 children (about 250 under the age of 5) die in swimming accidents and over 5,000 others are hospitalized. Additionally, spas and whirlpools kill over 200 children annually. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in 2002 an estimated 1,600 children were treated in hospital emergency rooms for submersion injuries. Many of these deaths and injuries occurred in residential pools where the lack of supervision was a problem. These types of incidents need the expertise of a swimming accident lawyer, like those at Penney & Associates.
Adults are also involved in swimming accidents. Many adults suffer severe injuries when they combine alcohol and swimming. Furthermore, diving in a shallow pool, river or privately owned lake cause severe spinal cord injuries. A pool owner may be negligent if he or she fails to post adequate warnings regarding water depth or fails to properly secure the pool.
CPSC recommends the following: Constant supervision of young children, placing barriers such as a fence with a self-closing or latching gate and quite frankly having proper supervision of the pool area. Close supervision of young children is important when around a pool. Many times young children leave the house without a parent or caregiver realizing it. Children are naturally drawn to water, not knowing the dangers of a pool. To be frank, just because children know how to swim does not mean they are safe. All children should be supervised constantly while in and around the pool, Jacuzzi or lake.
The CPSC offers the following tips to prevent drowning:
- Fences and walls should be a minimum of 4 feet high and installed around the entire pool. All gates should be self-closing and self-latching. The latch should be approximately 4 feet high. Keep any item that could be used for climbing into the pool area away from fences.
- Put alarms that produce a sound when a pool gate is open.
- The possibility of buying a safety cover.
- Keep rescue equipment and a phone by the pool. Learn CPR.
- Don't leave pool toys and floats in the pool area that may attract young children to the water.
- For above-ground pools, steps and ladders to the pool should be secured and locked, or removed when the pool is not in use.
- If a child is missing, always look in the pool or pond first.
- To prevent hair entrapment have a qualified pool professional inspect the drain suction fittings and covers on your pool and spa.
If your pool or spa has a single drain outlet, consider installing a safety vacuum release system that breaks the vacuum to avoid potential entrapment conditions. During your free consultation with one of our California Personal Injury Lawyers, Penney & Associates will advise you of all your legal rights. We will offer you all the representation and support you need. Call us today.