What Are Common Causes of Swimming Pool Accidents?
Lack of Pool Safety
Drownings or near drowning incidents can occur due to lack of proper pool safety. Pool safety features include lack of fencing or gates with special latching mechanisms. Lack of proper safety equipment such as life-saving rings, or inadequate lighting in or around the pool. Pools should always have life-saving equipment that include an “AED” or Automated External Defibrillator. This can be used to help save someone’s life who is in cardiac arrest.
Drownings can happen at any swimming pool facility including commercial facilities that are not equipped to handle an emergency situation. This includes not having the proper staff certified to perform CPR, or the facility not having an Automated External Defibrillator at the location.
Many pools, spas, or jacuzzis have very powerful drains that have a dangerous level of suction. This can cause drowning or can trap swimmers, and cause injury to body organs or bowels. To prevent this type of injury, Congress passed the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act in 2007 to require anti-vortex drain covers to all pools and spas.
Warning Signs and Lack of Maintenance
Diving accidents are common and can happen when swimmers dive into shallow water and sustain injury. This can happen when there is inadequate lighting in and around the pool, or when the water is cloudy and is not properly maintained. The pool should be properly marked, and the water depth should be clear to help prevent diving accidents.
Failure to have proper signs such as “swim at your own risk” when there are no lifeguards on duty can cause accidental injury or death. Signs should be clearly visible and easy to read. Children under the age of 14 should always be supervised by an adult at all times while swimming.
Why Is Drowning a Silent Killer?
Drowning is a silent killer and children should never be left alone in the water. Most drownings occur quickly and without any noise. Many believe drowning involves thrashing or screaming, but this is not the case. Victims of drowning typically do not have any energy left to scream or splash while fighting to stay above water. Children can slip underwater in seconds and are not able to call for help.
What Does Drowning Really Looks Like?
Knowing the symptoms of drowning can help you call for help or alert a lifeguard. There are specific behaviors to look out for while swimming that can indicate drowning. If you notice any swimmer with these behaviors, you should call for help immediately.
- Legs hanging vertically with no movement or kicking.
- Gasping for air or hyperventilating.
- Head is tilted back and low in the water, and the mouth is open.
- Swimmer is trying to roll over repeatedly on their back.
- Swimmer is trying to move in a certain direction, but they are not making progress.
- Eyes are glassy, closed, or the swimmer seems unable to focus.
- Swimmer is doing the dog-paddle or trying to climb an invisible ladder.
Drowning Prevention – What Can I Do To Prevent Drowning?
Supervision is key to prevent drowning, and children should always be monitored while swimming by an adult. While swimming, it is important to designate someone to always watch the swimmers and monitor activity at all times. This selected person should only watch the swimmers and avoid any other tasks such as barbequing, or other activities. Adults should refrain from consuming alcohol to ensure everyone is focused and actively watching the children in the water.
Choosing a swimming pool that is properly monitored and staffed with trained lifeguards who have proper skills in handling an emergency is important. This can help prevent drownings, and the trained staff can perform life-saving measures that include CPR, or use of an AED device. Never rely on lifeguards to watch your children. Parents should also be in the water with young children and always remain at an arm’s reach.
Teaching your children how to swim at an early age can help keep your child safe while in the water. Swimming lessons can provide the skills needed to help your child survive an emergency situation. Reinforcing lessons each year to review pool safety and swimming skills can help ensure your children are safe while in the water.
Swimming Pool Protection and How To Stay Safe
There are layers of swimming pool protection that can help keep you and your family safe. Checking your surroundings before swimming to make sure the pool you visit is safe and properly maintained can avoid accidents, and prevent a drowning.
- Supervision – The very first layer is constant adult supervision while swimming. In addition to supervision there are other safety measures that should be used to prevent drowning while swimming, or to prevent injury while children are not swimming.
- Fencing – The pool should be surrounded completely by a fence that is at least 4 feet tall.
- Gates – Self-closing and self-latching gates should be installed, and should be at a height where children cannot reach them.
- Door Alarms – Alarms should be installed on the door to the pool, or any door that enters the area where the pool is located. This can help alert parents if a child tries to enter the pool area alone.
- Pool Alarms – An underwater motion pool alarm should be installed. This alarm detects movement under the water, and will sound an alarm if a child tries to enter the pool unsupervised.
Children Should Never Be Left Alone in the Pool
The best method of drowning prevention is to never leave a child alone in a pool. Drownings can happen in seconds, and any child is at risk even if they are a good swimmer. Children should be supervised at all times by an adult even if the child is wearing an inflatable device while swimming. Inflatable devices or “water wings” are not effective for preventing drowning. In many cases inflatable devices do not properly keep a child’s face above water, and give parents a false sense of security.
What Should I Do After A Loved One Has Drowned?
Document the event and any injuries. Keep all records from the hospital and gather any police reports. Take note of any witnesses including police, fellow swimmers, emergency personnel, or doctors. Take photos of the location and incident or any injuries.
Gather any evidence after the accident or injury. Write down the names and contact information for any witnesses, and take photos of the area conditions, signs, gates, or fences where the incident occurred.
Contact an Experienced Lawyer
After a swimming pool accident, you should always contact an experienced swimming pool lawyer to assist in legal and safety issues. We understand in the event of a drowning this is difficult while grieving a family member. Our team can help protect your rights after an emotional and tragic event.
Selecting Experienced Legal Help
At Singleton Schreiber McKenzie & Scott Trial Lawyers in San Diego we are committed to helping our clients get through any tragedy. Our team is experienced, and can assist in the proper investigation to determine if your loved one died due to negligence, or from another organization or person’s mistake.
We will help to hold those responsible for the accident accountable, and will take action and obtain compensation for our clients. We are committed to help prevent tragedies from happening to others in the future. Our team will work to obtain justice, and provide exceptional support to the victim and family.
Ready to Contact SSMS Trial Lawyers?
Contact SSMS Trial Lawyers today if your loved one was affected by a swimming pool accident or drowning. Let us provide a detailed investigation to determine if your loved one died due to the mistake from another person or organization, or from negligence. We will hold those responsible accountable, act quickly to get you answers, and help you obtain justice and the compensation you deserve. Our professionals can help keep others safe and prevent future tragedies. At SSMS Trial Lawyers we work for you, and always have your best interest in mind.
Contact SSMS Trial Lawyers today to schedule your free claim analysis.