Reducing Swimming Pool Accidents this Summer
With the hot weather we have been experiencing in San Diego, we may be visiting water parks, public pools and our own swimming pools in an attempt to stay cool. But what measures can we take to prevent swimming pool accidents, specifically drownings and near-drownings involving young children, who are most susceptible to these tragic incidents?
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children aged 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates. Most of these drownings occur in home swimming pools. For children aged 1 to 14, drowning is the second-highest cause of unintentional injury-related death, behind motor vehicle accidents. Why are children at a higher risk? The most obvious cause is that they do not know how to swim. Most young children, unless they have received swimming lessons, cannot swim. When you add to this the curious and sometimes reckless nature of children who want to explore and learn, they are more likely to fall into the water.
There are steps we can take to reduce the chances of swimming pool accidents at our homes and at other locations as well:
- First and foremost, always supervise children if they are near the water or have access to a water source. A child may drown quickly and quietly, before an adult even notices that he or she is missing. Staying within reaching distance is advisable, and you should always keep an eye on your children even if there is a lifeguard on duty.
- Swim with a buddy. Even if you know how to swim, it is a good idea to avoid swimming alone, and to select swimming spots that have lifeguards.
- Take swimming lessons. This is the best way to prevent drowning accidents. Adults and children can take swimming lessons so they can get themselves out of the water even if they accidentally fall in.
- Fence in swimming pools. Using special childproof fences around swimming pools and Jacuzzis is another useful preventative measure to avoid accidents, though adult supervision should never be discounted. Even with a fence, children may find ways to climb over or may enter the area if the gate is left open.
- Keep toys away from and out of pools when not in use. Putting away pool toys can take away the temptation for children to go near or in the pool when you are not there, in addition to keeping the pool area fenced off.
- Never combine alcohol and swimming. Even if you are an experienced swimmer, it is never a good idea to swim after drinking alcohol. This can impair your abilities and make you susceptible to an accident. The same applies if you are supervising children who are swimming – do not drink alcohol.
- Check weather and tide reports. If you are going swimming at the beach or in another area where the weather or tide may affect swimming conditions, check on these before you go out in the water.
When swimming pool accidents do occur, we may be able to seek justice against at-fault parties. At The McClellan Law Firm, our injury attorneys offer experienced legal counsel for individuals and families who have been affected by drownings, near-drownings and other accidents at swimming pools, on boats and in public swimming areas. We can look into liability pertaining to negligent supervision, defective pool fencing, dangerous swimming pool drains or filtration systems and defective pool covers. Discuss your case and options with a knowledgeable professional – call today for a free consultation.