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Child Drowning Accidents: Reminder to Parents and Pool Owners to Take Steps to Prevent Swimming Accidents This Summer

With summer here and drowning accidents continuing to be a leading cause of child deaths, pool owners must make sure that their pools are safe for use. This means ensuring that children at a pool are properly supervised, appropriate safety measures have been implemented, and emergency equipment is easily accessible.
According to recent statistics:

  • About 830 children under age 15 die each year from unintentional drowning accidents.
  • About 3,600 injuries to kids from near-drownings occur.
  • Unfortunately for some of those that are lucky enough to surviving a drowning accident, they will have sustained a serious, permanent traumatic brain injury.
  • It takes just 4-6 minutes for a person submerged underwater to suffer irreversible brain damage.
  • Approximately three out of every four pool drowning deaths and three out of every five injuries caused by pool submersion occur in home pools.
  • Nearly 20% of child drowning deaths take place in public pools where a trained lifeguard was at the scene.

Public and private pool owners can be held liable for injuries to a minor or wrongful death if their negligence contributed to or allowed a swimming accident to happen.
Here are some steps that pool owners can take to make pools safer for kids. Any measures taken will, of course, depend on what kind of pool it is and whether or not the pool is a private pool or a public one:

  • Make sure there is trained lifeguard or an adult that knows how to swim on duty.
  • Install a barrier around your pool that is at least five feet high to prevent kids from entering the pool (or hot tub) while they are unsupervised.
  • Make sure that your pool is installed with the government-mandated and approved anti-entrapment grates.
  • Make sure that doors leading to a pool area have latches that are located high enough so that younger kids can’t reach them.
  • Keep life preservers and reaching poles in the pool area in the event of an emergency.

Our child injury attorneys represent the families of children who have been hurt or killed in motor vehicle crashes, drowning accidents, playground accidents, or from defective products, including toys, nursery products, furniture, clothing, appliances, and other items because another party was negligent, careless, or reckless.
Drowning threatens kids, Southbend Tribune, June 27, 2010
Drowning Facts, DDS.Ca.Gov, June 2010
Related Web Resources:
Pool/Spa Safety and Drowning Prevention
Pool Safety for Children, American Academy of Pediatrics

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