Summer is the time to enjoy the outdoors, and to make lasting memories with family and friends. With the warmer weather, many of us spend more time at the pool. Kids especially love to go swimming in the summertime, and being out of school, they have much more time on their hands to enjoy these types of activities.
With increased pool traffic comes a greater risk of accidents and injuries. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), at least 163 children under the age of 15 fatally drowned in a swimming pool or spa between Memorial Day and Labor Day in 2017. Nearly 70% of those drowning victims were under the age of five, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning is one of the leading causes of unintentional injury death deaths among younger children.
Common Causes of Pool-Related Injuries
In addition to drowning, there are countless other pool-related accidents and injuries in the summertime. Slips, trips, and falls are among the most frequent non-fatal pool accidents, and they can often cause severe injuries, especially if the injured person falls head-first.
There are several reasons why pool accidents occur, some of the most common include:
- Slippery Surfaces: Walkways, pool decks, and other surfaces around the pool that are slippery. Many times, these slippery surfaces are not clearly marked, posing a danger to all who walk through them to get in and out of the pool.
- Inadequate Supervision: An absence of lifeguards, not enough lifeguards on duty for the amount of people who are in the pool, and/or poorly trained and inexperienced lifeguards who are unable to effectively handle an emergency situation.
- Inadequate Security: Lack of security and/or lack of adequate barriers to prevent children from entering into the pool area when it is closed or unattended.
- Lack of Safety Plans: No clearly defined signs or safety plans to follow in the event of a crisis.
- Hazardous Items or Debris Near the Pool: Items that are lying around or that have been blown around by the wind that cause people to trip and fall. This becomes more of an issue when there is less supervision around the pool.
- Unmarked or Improperly Marked Depths: Lack of clear markings to show swimmers the depth in various parts of the pool. Of course, smaller children are at the greatest risk of drowning or near-drowning because of this hazard.
- Equipment Hazards: Damaged or missing steps or rails, diving boards that are situated over water that is too shallow, and other defective, hazardous, poorly maintained, or missing equipment.
Summer Safety Tips for Swimming Pool Outings
To really enjoy and get the most out of your summer swimming activities, keeping yourself and your kids safe must be a top priority. Swimming pool owners are required to follow all state laws and municipal codes. In Connecticut, for example, all pools must have a fence around them that is at least 4 feet high along with several other specific guidelines such as self-closing gates with lockable latches at least 54” high. So, if you have your own swimming pool, make sure you are in full compliance with all government and municipal requirements.
In addition to setting up a barrier that is in compliance with governing laws and regulations, there are some other safety guidelines to consider:
- Install child proof latches on pool gates and fences;
- Never leave your children unsupervised in the pool area;
- Keep an eye on your children at all times when they are in the pool;
- If you ever lose sight of your child, check the pool and nearby areas first;
- Never dive or slide headfirst into any part of a pool that is less than 5 feet deep;
- Ensure that anyone that watches young children in a pool knows CPR;
- Always have rescue equipment (such as a life preserver or a long pole with a hook) and a phone nearby.
Injured in a Swimming Pool Accident in Connecticut? Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
Even when you do everything right, accidents can still happen. And if you or your child was injured in a pool accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence or reckless actions, you need to know your legal rights.
At the Apex Law Firm, we have over five decades of experience successfully representing clients injured in swimming pool accidents and other types of personal injuries in Connecticut. We work closely with our clients, and we fight hard for every dollar of compensation you are entitled to.
Call our office today at (860) 900-0900 for a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys. You may also visit us at uptonlegal.com and message us through our online contact form or stop by our Hartford County office in person at your convenience.
Whatever your battle, The APEX Law Firm will fight for you!