Some of the most common accidents that result in premises liability lawsuits are drowning and swimming pool accidents that occur at private homes. Drownings involving pools, hot tubs and spas claim hundreds of lives every year, many of them children.According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than 3/4 of drowning accidents involve children below the age of five. The CPSC estimates that children between the age of one and five account for 67% of all fatalities in swimming accidents and 64% of all injuries.
This summer, as more families head out for fun in the water the risk of drowning accidents increases. In fact, among children below the age of five, drowning happens to be the single biggest cause of accidental death. Unfortunately, the fact is that many of these accidents occur even in the presence of parents and caregivers at the scene.There was recently a very tragic story in the news about a child who drowned while family and friends were singing happy birthday to another guest.
This summer, make pool safety a priority for your family. Swimming lessons are a great place to start. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children below the age of five take swimming lessons.Besides teaching your children to swim, it’s also important to make sure that your pool is safe not only for your children, but also visiting children who may have gathered at your home to have fun this summer. Installing a fence around your pool, which is required by Georgia law, is one of the best things you can do for safety. And those fences need to be a minimum of 5 feet tall, have locking gates that swing outward, and have a certain amount of space between rails.
It’s important to realize that a child in distress who is drowning is not likely to make a huge commotion, or even a big splash. Drowning often occur silently. Parents at the scene may not even realize that the child is in distress. If you and your friends plan to have pool parties this summer, make sure that there is at least one adult in charge of watching the children in the pool. This adult should not take his or her eyes away from the children even for a few seconds. Adults must supervise children at all times. It is simply impossible to over stress this point. Adults supervising children also need to learn how to perform CPR as well as how to call emergency help quickly if necessary.
Swimming is not just a great way to cool off in the summer heat, but it’s also an essential life skill. Parents and caregivers need to take pool safety ultra-seriously and help protect our children from injury.
Have a great summer and be safe!