Swimming pools are a great source of fun and entertainment for people of nearly all ages. This particularly is the case during summertime. Swimming pools do have the potential to pose a number of significant and even potentially deadly risks. This particularly is the case for young children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of death for children aged one to four years old. Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children aged one to 14.
The use of pool alarms and other types of safety equipment is crucial in reducing the risk of drowning accidents.
Install a Pool Alarm
A pool alarm is a device that activates an alarm when the water is disturbed. There are several types of pool alarms available:
- Surface wave detection alarms
- Subsurface disturbance alarms
- Pool perimeter alarms
A comprehensive pool alarm system is advisable. Such a system includes alarming the pool itself as well as the deck area surrounding the pool. In addition, the pool perimeter fence, gate, and any other entranceway need to be duly alarmed as well.
Use a Pool Cover
A pool cover is an essential safety device that can prevent accidental falls into the pool. It can also help retain heat, reduce chemical consumption, and keep debris out of the pool. Ensure that the pool cover is securely fastened and that it meets the safety standards set by the American Society of Testing and Materials or ASTM. There are several types of pool covers available, including manual and automatic covers. Pool covers also come in different materials that include mesh and solid vinyl.
Install a Fence
Reference to a perimeter fence was made a moment ago during the discussion about pool alarms. A pool fence is a physical barrier that can prevent young children and pets from accessing the pool area unsupervised. The fence should be at least four feet high, with self-closing and self-latching gates that open outward from the pool. Four feet definitely is a minimum height and a taller fence typically is the better course. A pool perimeter fence should also be climb-resistant and have a clear view of the pool area.
Beyond these basic equipment or structural tactics, there are two other strategies that are vital when striving to prevent drowning accidents. These are teaching children to swim and supervising children at all times when they are in a pool area.
Enrolling children in swimming lessons at an early age can help them become confident and competent swimmers. Generally speaking, the age of five is a good time to start children in structured swimming lessons.
In addition to swimming lessons, pool owners can encourage safe water practices by setting rules and guidelines for pool use. For example, children should never run or dive into the pool, and they should always swim with a buddy. It is also important to teach children about the dangers of pool drains and suction outlets, and to ensure that pool equipment meets the safety standards set by the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.
Adult supervision is the most critical safety measure when it comes to preventing child drowning accidents. Never leave children unsupervised near the pool, even if they know how to swim. Designate a responsible adult to supervise children at all times. Ensure that assigned adults have the necessary skills to respond in case of an emergency. It is also essential to minimize distractions, such as cell phones and socializing, when supervising children near the pool.
Legal Rights Following a Drowning Accident
If a drowning accident arises from the negligence of someone else, it is important to understand your legal rights. You can schedule a no-cost and no-obligation initial consultation with a Doan Law Firm lawyer any time of the day or night by calling our nationwide firm at (800) 349-0000.
We can schedule an initial consultation at any one of our 40 offices. In addition, a virtual case evaluation with an experienced lawyer from our firm can be arranged online as well.
The Doan Law Firm makes an attorney fee guarantee to you. Our firm will never charge an attorney fee unless we win your case for you.