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Pool Safety & Liability

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 3,500 people die in drowning accidents every year, most of them occurring in swimming pools. It is important for pool owners to know a few important things about safety, general liability and responsibility.

Unauthorized/Unsupervised Access to Pools is the Leading Cause of Drowning Deaths 

Many deaths from drowning and serious brain injuries are reported each year. These injuries are often linked to swimming pool accidents and occur a when a pool is not properly secured by fencing and/or a locked gate. A young child may gain unauthorized access to a swimming pool and can fall in.  Pools should be fully enclosed by proper barriers which can include a 4 foot high fence or locked gates and alarm mechanisms.  If a neighborhood child gains access and drowns in an improperly secured pool, the owner of the pool could be held financially responsible for the child’s death.

Ensure Your Pool Is Adequately Maintained 
If you have a swimming pool at home, make sure it is properly maintained. This means that the pool must be regularly cleaned and cleared of debris, such as stray objects and leaves. Make sure the chlorine levels are tested for proper neutrality.

Diving Accidents are a Leading Cause of Spinal Cord Injuries 
Accidents resulting from diving/jumping or other forms of “rough-housing” in the pool contribute to a large percentage of fractures, spinal cord injuries and brain injuries among teens and young adults. Severe brain and spinal cord injuries often result from diving into shallow water.  Owners of sloping pools (in ground pools with a deep end) are required by law to have a safety line drawn across the water’s surface at the point of the incline. The American Red Cross recommends a minimum of 9 feet of water depth for head first dives including dives from pool decks.

Hazardous Pool Toys and Trick Jumps Should Be Avoided
When playing with pool toys, it is possible for entanglement to occur and for the swimmer to become pinned with his/her or head below the water. It is specifically recommended to avoid inner tube or doughnut style floats with holes. Additionally, according to the American Institutes for Research, 16.8% of all diving accidents occurred from attempting an unusual dive or trick. Trick dives, flips and other stunts are hazardous and should not be attempted in a residential pool.

Children must be Supervised at All Times
One-third of adults do not realize that staying within arms’ reach of a child is much safer than using “floaties” or other similar swim-assist devices alone. About 60% of accidental deaths in children consist of drowning in swimming pools.  Children ages 1-4 are most at risk for drowning in their own pools. Children should never be allowed near or in the swimming pool unsupervised.

If a child is in preschool or not yet confident enough in their swimming abilities, the supervising adult must always be in reach of the child. Keep kids away from areas of the pool where an injury is most likely, such as drains, pipes, and skimmers.

Make sure at least one responsible adult knows CPR. Not only should you learn CPR, but you should also insist that the other people who have children or care for your child do, too. Getting certified is quite simple since many organizations, such as the YMCA, offer certification courses that are both affordable and flexible.
Keep the pool area clear of toys. Always put away toys that are not being used. Children may be tempted to enter the area unsupervised to play with toys and ultimately fall into the pool.

Do Not Consume Too Much Alcohol
Swimming while under the influence can be just as hazardous as operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

Avoid The Water During Thunderstorms
As soon as you hear thunder or see lightning, you must be out of the water for at least 30 minutes.

Set Rules
Communicate with children about the dangers found in swimming pools. Set rules against running or roughhousing. Additionally, you should employ precautions, such as buddy systems, which can prepare kids for the worst.
 
By following these tips, you will be much safer and much more likely to enjoy swimming in the summertime. 

Although many swimming pool accidents are not caused by another person, sometimes these accidents can be the result of someone else’s negligence. For example, a lifeguard may be liable for failing to pay attention to the swimmers he or she is supposed to supervise or a pool management company may be liable for injuries caused by a diving board that is not properly installed.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury on someone else’s property, call our offices for a free consultation.  We have over 40 years of experience getting our clients the justice and compensation they deserve.  Call us today at 414 276 1233