Drowning is One of the Leading Causes of Death
Hot summer temperatures in California and throughout the country bring out hordes of swimmers. Unfortunately, every year thousands of children and adults lose their lives in unintentional swimming pool drownings. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every day about ten drowning deaths occur. And every day, about three children, 14 and younger, die from drowning.
Sadly, drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental deaths, particularly for young children. In the U.S., drowning is the fifth leading cause of death by unintentional injury. The CDC reports that drowning is second only to birth defects in the death of children aged one to four.
Preventing Swimming Pool Drowning Accidents, Injuries and Deaths
Swimming pool accidents and drownings are preventable. Pool owners, property managers and others in a position of responsibility have a duty to ensure that swimmers are safe from harm. This is especially so when young children are involved. Preventative safety measures include the following:
- Children should always be supervised when swimming and when around the pool.
- Owners of private pools, professional lifeguards and others in charge of pools and swimmers should be proficient in CPR.
- There should always be a professional lifeguard on duty at community pools, school pools, camp and campground pools, beach club pools, hotel pools and other frequented pools, especially where children are known to swim.
- Very young swimmers should be accompanied by an adult at all times and required to wear a flotation device. As well, they should be required to swim in the designated shallow area of the pool.
- Pools should be enclosed by fences with self-locking gates to prevent children and trespassers from entering and swimming during unsupervised and off-hours.
- Drains must be in proper working order and in compliance with all state, federal and local regulations.
- Pools should always have emergency equipment, including roped flotation rings and safety poles. A properly working phone should always be available.
- Pool rules and hours should be posted and clearly visible.
Teach Your Children to Swim
Children are surprisingly adept swimmers and formal swimming and water safety lessons can help to minimize drownings and pool accidents. Children should be taught to swim at the youngest practicable age, especially if they live in a home with a swimming pool or hot tub. However, even the most skilled young swimmers should never be unsupervised when near a pool.
Children must be instructed never to swim without adult supervision. Parents should teach their children to always look out for the safety of their siblings and friends. One effective, age-old method is the buddy system, where swimmers are paired up and responsible for each other.
Pool Deck Safety
Pool perimeters are wet and extremely slippery. Accidents can be avoided by prohibiting running and other physical activities on and around the pool deck. A slip and fall can easily result in a traumatic head injury, spinal injury, fracture, other serious injury or even death. The saying “prevention is better than cure” certainly holds true in pool safety.
Michels & Lew, Los Angeles Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Law Firm
Michels & Lew provides experienced, skilled and effective representation to victims of swimming pool accidents and the families of deceased victims. Michels & Lew can be contacted at 310-444-1200.