As the weather heats up on the cusp of summer, people are preparing to hit the pools to cool off. A recent report, however, reminds parents and other caregivers that even a kiddie pool – an often overlooked danger – presents a drowning risk.
Dr. Nina Shapiro, who serves as director of pediatric otolaryngology at Mattel Children’s Hospital of the University of California, Los Angeles, explains in a recent news release, “When we think of pool risks, we think of the big pools, complete with deep ends diving boards and swim parties… But more than 10 percent of pool-related deaths in young children occur in what are best known as ‘kiddie pools.’”
Some tips to prevent an accidental drowning include:
- Supervise children at all times near a pool
- Keep a phone nearby in case you need to make an emergency call
- Be sure large pools have a fence, at least 4 feet high, surrounding them
- Learn CPR and have life preservers nearby
- Drain the water from kids’ pools between uses and remove toys if no one is in the pool.
Swimming pool accidents raise liability questions
Drowning is the second-leading cause of accidental death for children in this country. About 20% of drowning victims are age 14 or younger. Even if a child survives a near drowning, in about half the cases he or she will need further care for injuries including severe brain injuries that can cause lifelong learning disabilities, other mental impairment, or even a vegetative state.
Whether a life-changing accident takes place in a kiddie pool, a full-size swimming pool, or even a man-made lake on private property, these accidents raise a lot of questions, including:
- Who owned the pool?
- Who controlled access to the pool or supervised patrons?
- What company or individual was responsible for maintenance
- Was the pool accessed with permission?
- Were there warning signs or fences to protect children from danger?
The answers to these questions can signal potential liability under varying theories:
- Premises liability holds certain people or businesses liable for accidents or injuries that happen due to the condition of the property. Generally someone who is on the property with permission has more rights than a trespasser except when the trespasser is a child. New Jersey recognizes that children should be protected from dangers that may entice them onto the property.
- If someone such as a maintenance service provider or lifeguard did not do their job properly, their employer may be liable for resulting injuries under negligence theories.
- A product manufacturer may be liable under state and federal product liability laws if a failed safety device, such as a safety gate latch or pool alarm, malfunctioned and contributed to the accident.
NJ personal injury lawyer can help
If faced with a swimming pool accident, you may be in the midst of an emotional and financial whirlwind. The premises liability lawyers at Eisbrouch Marsh can help. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of injury victims and work to obtain full compensation for our clients.
For a confidential and free case consultation, call 201-342-5545. We never collect a fee unless we win your case.
- CBS News, Drowning risks: Even kiddie pools pose danger, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/drowning-risks-even-kiddie-pools-pose-danger/
- CDC.gov, Unintentional Drowning: Get the Facts, http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/water-safety/waterinjuries-factsheet.html