With Memorial Day weekend marking the traditional opening of pools in many communities, a review of swimming pool and water safety is timely and may help prevent a tragedy. Unfortunately, unsupervised children are often victims of drowning deaths and swimming pool accidents. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children ages one (1) to four (4). (www.poolsafety.gov).
Property owners are responsible for keeping their pools safe and secure. The most effective drowning prevention strategy is to cut off the access to the water by completely surrounding pools and spas with fencing and gates that latch and lock. Prevention is key, and parents, pool owners and pool managers can and should take certain measures to ensure pool safety and keep children safer in and around the water:
– Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa and always watch your children closely around all bodies of water.
- – Designate a “Water Watcher” to supervise children in the pool or spa. This person should not be reading, texting, using a smart phone or be otherwise distracted.
- – Learn how to swim, and teach your child how to swim.
- – If your child cannot swim, keep a (certified) life jacket securely around your child at all times while he or she has access to the water.
- – Learn how to perform CPR on children and adults.
- – Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments.
- – Ensure any pool and spa you use has drain covers that comply with federal safety standards, and if you do not know, ask your pool service provider about safe drain covers.
- – Have your pool or spa regularly maintained and all electrical work inspected by a certified electrician.
No matter what you have heard or been told before, the owner of the pool is the person responsible for providing a safe environment for both children and adults who use the pool, as well as for people who live in the community. The homeowner or property owner is also responsible for being pro-active in accident prevention. If a property has a pool and the owner and/or manager does not take adequate measures to prevent unwanted or unsupervised individuals from gaining access to the pool, they can end up assuming liability if an accident occurs.
If you have questions regarding swimming pool accidents or injuries, contact the law firm of Jinks, Crow & Dickson for a free consultation.