Typically, when we think of wintertime accidents, we think of slips, falls, and traffic accidents that are caused by temperamental weather conditions. We don’t often think about what happens within the vicinity of our own homes. The winter season brings about a whole new slew of accidents and injuries that extend beyond the normal icy road and slippery sidewalk scenarios.
Winter yard tools like snowblowers and shovels are used time and time again to clear our sidewalks and driveways of accumulated snow. Improper use of these tools can result in injury, particularly if the sidewalk or driveway is slippery and iced over. Likewise, pools and other areas of the home that are not used in the winter can also present themselves as a danger zone if care is not taken to ensure that those areas are not enticing to small children or elderly friends and relatives.
A news story in December reported a 65-year-old man who had drowned in a neighbor’s pool. The sad reality is that we often hear mostly about children who are unattended, or who slip past a gate around a pool. We do not hear about elderly friends, neighbors and relatives who may find themselves in the same situation. Regardless of whether you have small children, if you have a pool, here are some things to know:
- By now, you should have a gate around the pool. It’s best if the gate is locked for the season, as an extra safety measure.
- In winter, the pool should have a cover over it. Not only will this protect your pool, but it will add an extra assurance that the area is to remain free from any visitors. (Be aware that even if your pool does have a cover, there is still a potential for drowning if someone becomes stuck after falling onto the cover.)
- Be sure that others who are designated watch guards around a pool area accompany any elderly adults at home.
- Lock all inside doors that lead out to the pool area.
Drownings are a tragedy that no one wants to encounter, yet they happen all the time due to negligence, oversights or appointing the wrong person to pay attention. If you know someone who has drowned at the home of another person, you will want to seek the confident assistance of a New York attorney who can help you settle your case.