As the weather heats up, a lot of us are looking forward to fun get-togethers over the summer months. Backyard barbeques, visits to the beach, family road trips, and lots of pool parties. While “going to the pool” conjures up visions of fun with family and friends, it is important for everyone to keep pool safety in mind before going in for that swim.
Pools must be properly built and maintained by their owners, as failing to do so may lead to guests being injured or even killed. Whether an incident occurs in a pool at a private residence or a community recreational area, the owner of the pool may be liable for the victim’s damages.
A recent news story about the tragic drowning death of a three-year-old boy in a Paso Robles swimming pool reminded the pool accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Reneé J. Nordstrand that summer is here and that homeowners, parents and institutions need to take precautions to prevent drowning deaths and injuries.
Last year, during the traditional summer season from Memorial Day to Labor Day, 137 children younger than 15 years old drowned in pools and spas, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). An additional 168 children of that age required emergency treatment for near-fatal incidents during the same time period.
Nationwide, some 390 children under 15 drown in pools and spas each year and some 5,200 are treated by emergency crews for submersion injuries. Most of the fatal drownings and injuries occur during the summer months.
California ranked second in the nation in pool and spa drowning deaths of children less than 15 years of age in 2012.
The CPSC has labeled child drowning accidents a “serious public health problem.”
The state of California passed the Pool Safety Act in 2007, which requires homeowners to have at least one of seven required safety features for pools and spas. Those safety features include: enclosures around a pool, self-closing safety latches on pool enclosures and in homes, alarm doors, pool and spa covers, and safety alarms that sound when an unauthorized person is in a pool or spa.
Another important safety feature is vigilance. A parent or caregiver should never leave a child unattended at a pool or anywhere else where there is standing water. A drowning can happen quickly. An infant or toddler can drown in just inches of water in an inflatable pool.
But the simplest safety feature you can implement is perhaps the most effective: teach your children to swim.
The Santa Barbara swimming pool injury attorneys Law Offices of Reneé J. Nordstrand know that summer fun comes with the summer heat. Pool and Spa drowning deaths are 100 percent preventable if people just take the proper precautions, remain vigilant and follow the laws concerning pool and spa safety.