Pool Safety & Children: Who is Responsible When Accidents Happen in the Pool?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, a drowning accident claims the lives of at least one person every day. Children below the age of five years account for 77 percent of those fatalities. Today, the fifth leading reason for death in the country is drowning, and among children between the ages of one and four, it is the top accident-related cause of death.
Drowning is a significant concern for public health in the United States. Unfortunately, victims of drowning are usually young children since water holds a magnetic pull for them.
The Grave Nature of Swimming Pool Accidents
Contrary to the incidents that are shown in the movies, victims of drowning typically disappear rapidly and silently under the water’s surface. Unless someone is attentive, the victims may not be noticeable immediately.
If a person escapes death in a drowning accident, there is a high possibility that a near-drowning accident can cause significant disability and injury. Stanford University research indicates that victims of near drowning can experience moderate to severe brain damage and even experience central nervous system damage.
Common Risks and Causes of Pool-Related Accidents
Pools can be either private or public. Regardless of whether a swimming pool is located in a recreation center, apartment complex, gym, backyard, or hotel, it poses certain risks. Some common dangers and causes of accidents related to pools are:
A common reason for serious pool-related accidents, such as those that lead to fractured bones, amputations, and death, is defective equipment.
If a pool lacks proper maintenance, it can present risks such as unsafe chemicals, dirty water, and malfunctioning equipment, like lights and filters.
Unsafe Pool Design
The design of the swimming pool should be safe. An ill-designed pool could cause death and injury. The design of the pool includes elements such as mechanical operation, fences, locks, and gates.
Inadequately or Improperly Trained Staff
Lifeguards with inadequate training will not be able to take the right actions in emergencies.
Lung damage, kidney problems, myocardial injury, and liver damage may also occur due to near-drowning accidents.
Parents/guardians should never rely on a lifeguard to keep their children safe as there is no alternative to one-on-one overseeing. Lifeguards are responsible for supervising numerous swimmers and may not notice an issue immediately. At times, lifeguards and properly owners who employ them are negligent. Some lifeguards see it as a simple summer job and do not take their duty as seriously as they should or could.
Before any child spends time in a pool without adult supervision, they should take swimming lessons. Many community organizations, such as the YMCA and public swimming pools, provide formal swimming classes for children of all age groups. These lessons are even available to infants, who (accompanied by their parents) can learn to get comfortable with being in the water.
It is also prudent to learn CPR as it can allow you to take immediate action in emergency situations. While you may never need to use CPR on your own kid, knowledge of this skill could enable you to save a life. Finally, do not drink alcohol when you are overseeing children inside or within the vicinity of a pool or going into the pool yourself.
Legal Help for Families of Pool-Related Accidents
If your child has been in a pool-related accident, you might be able to claim damages for your losses. The experienced attorneys at Buck, Toscano & Tereskerz Ltd. have handled numerous pool-related accident cases and can review your case at no charge to determine the possibility of proving negligence. Call today at 434-977-7977 for a free consultation with a qualified personal injury lawyer.