Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers: Swimming Pool Accidents June 6, 2016
Summer is quickly approaching and many people will plan to spend a large portion of the season around water. Backyard swimming pools and public swim clubs lure many to jump in and cool off as the weather gets warm. Unfortunately for some, a day spent at the pool will end in tragedy. On average, nine people drown each day in the United States. For children aged one to four, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death and the second leading cause of death for children under 14 years of age.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), close to 4,000 lives were lost each year in the United States from accidental drowning between 2005 and 2014. Approximately 5,000 children under the age of 15 are treated in emergency rooms each year for swimming pool accidents. Over 750 of these accidents will prove to be fatal, and another 1,000 will result in permanent neurological or physical disabilities.
Close supervision of children is vital to preventing swimming pool accidents. In fact, when it comes to children, no amount of supervision is wasted. Analysts estimate that a parent or caregiver was supervising the child in nine out of ten drowning accidents in residential swimming pools. Parents, grandparents, and babysitters often mistakenly believe that they can relax when they are at a public facility with a lifeguard on duty. What they do not realize is that 19 percent of all drowning accidents occur at a swimming pool supervised by a lifeguard.
Homeowners with residential swimming pools are responsible for securing their pool area. Four-foot-high barriers and locked gates to prevent children from accessing the pool area are essential. For above ground pools, ladders should be folded up and locked when the pool is not in use. Failure to properly secure a residential pool can leave the homeowner liable for damages under premises liability laws. These laws vary from state to state and it is the responsibility of the homeowner to ensure that they are in compliance with local law.
Pool Safety Tips
Though swimming pools can pose a significant danger to children, a focus on safety and prevention can allow families to have fun during the summer months. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind:
- Never leave children unattended in or around a pool area.
- Secure the pool area with proper barriers and locked gates or ladders.
- Enroll children in formal swimming lessons.
- Insist that children under the age of four wear inflatable arm bands or life jackets when in or around the pool.
- Learn CPR and insist that all caregivers that will supervise children around the pool know this lifesaving procedure.
- Keep a phone close to the pool area to call for help in the event of an emergency.
- Put all toys away when the pool is not in use so that young children are not drawn to the pool area.
- Keep a pole, rope, flotation device, and life jackets close to the pool area to assist a struggling or unconscious swimmer.
- Never allow anyone to swim alone or in a public swimming facility without a lifeguard on duty.
- Avoid diving into areas of a pool with unmarked depth identification.
- Keep pools well maintained and clean for maximum safety and visibility.
These simple steps can go a long way in preventing an accidental drowning.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP Help Victims of Swimming Pool Accidents Claim Compensation
If you or someone you know has suffered death or injury from a swimming pool accident, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP help victims of swimming pool accidents, drowning, or injury seek the justice and compensation they are entitled to under the law.
Call us at 1-800-222-8792, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our offices are conveniently located in Philadelphia, Reading, and Bethlehem, allowing us to serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.