Pool drowning lawyers are alarmed at the amount of recent drowning deaths involving small children across the United States. Proper supervision and safety precautions can prevent many of these tragic incidents.
The Sacramento Bee recently reported a drowning episode that led to the death of a 3-year-old South Florida boy. According to public safety officials, the boy was visiting his grandmother’s house when he walked out of a sliding glass door, unsupervised, and fell into her swimming pool.
Family members saw the boy’s shoes floating at the top of the pool and tried to save him, but it was too late. The boy died at the hospital. Sadly, statistics show that this type of fatal accident is happening far too often. Pool drownings are the number one cause of death for young children in this small South Florida community.
The problem is nationwide. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 130 children under the age of 15 drowned in a pool or spa between Memorial Day and Labor Day this year. Additionally, nearly 170 children required emergency assistance for a pool related accident in 2012.
Just less than half of the drownings happened while the child was alone, unsupervised. About 30 of the pool drownings happened while adults were actually present at the pool. Toddlers and young children are particularly susceptible to these tragic accidents. Drowning is the number one cause of accidental deaths among one to four year old children.
In 2012, a dozen states saw the largest number of child and teen pool drownings: Texas – 17 , California – 10, Ohio – 9, Arizona – 8, Michigan – 8, Pennsylvania – 7, Florida – 6, Illinois – 6, North Carolina – 6, Alabama – 5, Georgia – 5, and New York – 5.
There are simple steps that pool owners, parents, and caregivers can take to ensure that children of all ages are safe around spas and pools:
• Everyone (adults and children) should learn how to swim, be familiar with water safety, and know how to adminster CPR.
• Children should not be left unsupervised. Eyes should be on them at all times, especially when they are around large bodies of water. They should be kept away from potentially dangerous openings, such as pipes and pool drains.
• All spas and pools should have adequate safety equipment. This includes life rings, reaching pole, proper drain covers, pool fencing, and a lockable safety cover.
Although children of all nationalities and ethnic backgrounds are susceptible to pool drownings, the CPSC found that African-American and Hispanic children under the age of 5 actually have the highest drowning risk.