As summertime approaches, adults and kids alike will flock to public and private swimming pools to cool off from the heat. Unfortunately, pool-time fun can quickly turn to tragedy. According for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there are an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drowning annually in the United States, which amounts to approximately ten deaths per day. A fifth of drowning victims are children 14 years and younger. Additionally, for every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries. These nonfatal drowning injuries can be very significant. Many near drowning victims sustain severe brain damage that often results in long-term disabilities including memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning such as a permanent vegetative state.
With the significant risk of injury and death from drowning, it’s important to understand how to keep yourself and your children safe. Philadelphia drowning accident lawyer, Brent Wieand, makes the following recommendations to decrease the likelihood of becoming a drowning victim.
1) Learn to swim – The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children age 4 and older learn to swim. Additionally, they state that children 1 year of age and up are safe to attend swim lessons. One case control study demonstrated that participation in formal swimming lessons was associated with an 88% reduction in the risk of drowning in the 1- to 4-year-old children. Additionally, many venues that offer swim lessons to children also host swimming lessons for adults. It’s never too late to learn to swim and protect yourself against the dangers of drowning.
2) Keep children under active supervision always – For young children and non-swimmers, this means staying within arm’s reach at all times. It’s a good idea to have these children wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life vest as well. Designate a responsible adult to monitor the pool whenever anyone is swimming.
3) Avoid drugs or alcohol – As tempting as it may be to sip a margarita or cold beer, it’s important to avoid becoming intoxicated while you are near a swimming pool. Approximately 70% of water-related deaths among young adults and adolescents involve alcohol Even one drink can begin to impair a person’s senses, alter sense of distance, and make a person feel disoriented and confused while in the water.
While the above advice can improve your safety poolside, too often an adult or child drowns or sustains significant physical injuries from a near-drowning event because a pool owner neglects to take proper precautions. Lack of basic security features – such a proper fencing and signage – can result in a pool-related catastrophe. Improper maintenance to poolside surfaces can lead to a slip, trip, or fall event. For the clients of public pools, inattentive or improperly trained lifeguards can miss the subtle signs on a drowning victim.
If you have been injured or suffered an unintentional drowning death because a property owner failed to property maintain their pool in a safe condition or under safe supervision, it’s imperative that you have the support of an experienced personal injury attorney to seek fair compensation for your suffering. The Wieand Law Firm, LLC will take the time to listen to your individual situation and provide that skilled advice you need to take action.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from the Wieand Law Firm, LLC for their insight into swimming pool accidents.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice.