With spring and summer just around the corner, many of us are readying our swimming pools for the season. In addition to the barbeques, family reunions and time off from school for the kids comes the added pleasure of pool activities. Sadly, however, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 10 people per day die as a result of drowning accidents. Males and children ages 1 to 4 are most at risk, particularly in home swimming pools, and drowning is a leading cause of death among children in that same age group.
It’s inevitable: every year the local news features the story of the first seasonal drowning. The news is sad for all involved, and serves as a tragic reminder to keep our kids safe around water. The American Red Cross offers CPR classes in most areas, and it’s wise to be current in your knowledge of CPR. Swimming pool accidents can result in brain damage, spinal injury and death by drowning. What are some ways to keep you and your family safe around your swimming pool?
- Install a protective barrier around the pool area, and keep it locked at all times. Never leave the gate unlocked or open. Make it a habit to check the area nightly to make sure someone hasn’t opened or unlocked it during the day while you were gone.
- Never put one child in care of another child around a pool. This is a common mistake: “Joey, watch your brother while I get dinner started.” Children will play, and haven’t yet refined the act of supervision.
- Always have an attentive, responsible adult supervising those in the pool.
- Implement a “no distractions” rule to the one in charge, particularly if the one in charge is a teenager. As stringent as it may sound, this means no texting or talking on the phone when supervising those in the pool.
- Keep life jackets close by, and insist that little ones wear life jacket or arm floaties, whether or not they have had swimming lessons.
- Refrain from serving or drinking alcohol around the pool.
- Clear the pool area of any obstacle or toys.
- If you must be away from the pool, make sure everyone is out of the pool until you get back. If you do not hear the sound of children playing, be concerned.
- Insist that all children have had swimming lessons.
If your child has been injured as a result of an accident in a swimming pool, or died from injuries due to a swimming pool accident, you may have made it your personal mission to ensure that no one has to experience the devastating loss that you have. Seeking the counsel of an attorney who is reputable and successful in lawsuits involving swimming pool injuries will help you find the relief and closure you need.