Many children will spend their summer escaping the Southern California heat by doing cannonballs and backflips, and by splashing around the pool with their friends. But it is important to remember that for all of the care-free fun pools provide, they are also very dangerous.
Swimming Accident Statistics
According to information from Safe Kids, an average of 815 children under the age of 14 in the Unites States died in unintentional drowning accidents each year since 1999. While this average is staggeringly high, the actual number of unintentional drowning deaths involving kids decreased over this period, from 927 in 1999 to 745 in 2008.
Additional statistics from Safe Kids illustrate the need for parents to ensure that younger children are supervised while in or around pools and other water sources:
- Children under the age of five account for 76 percent of drowning deaths and 80 percent of submersion injuries treated in emergency departments.
- An average of 3,700 kids have suffered "nonfatal near drowning-related injuries" every year since 2001, with more than 5,000 children suffering these injuries in 2009.
- Boys drown at a rate twice that of girls.
Responsibility for Drowning
Whether it's the city, a school, an athletic club or a neighbor, a pool owner can usually be held responsible for injuries and fatalities when negligent actions lead to preventable-drowning injuries. Negligence that can lead to drowning accidents includes failure to provide adequate supervision or lifeguard(s), failure to properly maintain the pool, failing to erect an effective barrier, such as a fence or gate around a pool.
Speak with a California drowning injury attorney if your child was injured or killed in a drowning accident.