About Swimming Pool Accidents
Swimming pool accidents are far more common than many people realize, and they often cause serious injury or death for the victims. Children in particular are at high risk for swimming pool accidents, and many areas have implemented strict laws requiring owners to secure their property against unauthorized visitors who could be injured in a swimming pool.
It is important to know how to keep families and children safe around swimming pools. It is also important to understand the responsibilities of swimming pool owners toward guests and visitors.
Swimming Pool Accidents—Deadly and Common
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 9 people are killed in drowning accidents each day in the United States. At least 5,000 children are hospitalized each year due to drowning; 20 percent of these victims will suffer permanent neurological damage. For children under the age of 14, drowning is second only to vehicle accidents as the top cause of injury-related death, and it is the leading cause of accident death for children aged one to four. Sadly, most of these toddler
drowning deaths occur in their own home swimming pools.
Fortunately, there are ways to keep children and families safe around swimming pools.
What Can I Do To Keep My Family Safe?
One of the best ways to prevent accidental drowning, especially for children, is to securely fence a pool area. Fencing has been shown to reduce drowning accidents by as much as 90 percent. A secure fence is one that is not easy for a child or an adult to open and cannot be easily climbed over.
Another step that helps prevent pool-related accidents are to have an adult within easy reach of children at all times they are swimming. Adults should never be distracted by cell phones or other devices; they should be focused on the children in the pool. It only takes a moment for a child to drown.
Finally, adults and children should be aware that pool drains can create powerful suction and should never swim or play near them.
What Are the Responsibilities of a Pool Owner?
Pool owners have a legal duty to prevent unauthorized access to their pools. This includes proper fencing, locks and other mechanism to prevent both children and adults from entering the pool without permission. When guests are invited, pool owners are required to take all reasonable measures to ensure the safety of those in the pool.