This Fourth of July weekend will be filled with plenty of backyard parties and get-togethers with family and friends to celebrate Independence Day. While there is much discussion on fireworks safety, it is also critical to be reminded of the danger of swimming pools and possible swimming pool accidents, especially involving children. This holiday weekend alone, an average of 15 children will die as a result of a swimming pool accident.
Accidental drowning is completely preventable and the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has set up a website at poolsafely.gov to provide parents with important information on how to keep children safe around the pool this weekend and all summer long. It is vital to designate an adult to watch the pool at all time with no distractions. This includes no cell phone use, even if the person only looks down at the screen for a brief moment. In that split second, a child can go underwater without anyone noticing, and in many cases a child does not splash around to get someone’s attention or yell for help.
Homeowners can help reduce the possibility of a swimming pool accident by checking for slippery areas or obstructions on a pool’s ledge, diving board and stairs, which could lead to both children and adults falling into the water by either slipping or tripping. Make sure any child going into the pool understands to stay away from the drains and filters where they may get trapped underwater. Even if you are not the one entertaining guests this weekend, take extra precaution that your pool area is secure so no child who may wander into your backyard can open a locked gate or climb over the fence to have access to your pool.
The statistics on swimming pool accidents from the USA Swimming Foundation and CPSC are staggering:
- Every year, an average of 367 children under the age of 15 fatally drown, with another 5,600 treated in emergency rooms for pool and spa related accidents.
- In the first five months of 2016, over 75 children younger than 15 years old have fatally drowned in a swimming pool or spa.
- Drownings are the leading cause of unintentional death in children ages 1 to 4. For children 5-14, it is the second leading cause of unintentional death.
Fourth of July is no doubt a weekend of family fun, but the health and safety of children must come first. Be sure to have a safe environment for children to play in and around a swimming pool at all times. If your child has been injured as a result of a swimming pool accident, you need the top firm on your side. Call the experienced and compassionate attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C., today.