Summer months provide ample opportunity for residents across Florida to cool off and enjoy the water in swimming pools. While pools can be a great source of entertainment or exercise, they do pose risks, especially to children. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death among children ages 1 to 4. Many of these preventable deaths occur in swimming pools.
If you and your loved ones are enjoying the summer months with time by the pool, it is important that you make safety a top priority. Our legal team at Boswell & Dunlap, LLP wants to provide you with a few important safety tips to help you do just that:
- Supervision – Supervision is one of the most important things you can do when it comes to swimming, as children face the greatest risks of injuries and drownings when they use pools unsupervised. Whether you’re at a backyard pool or a public pool, be sure that children are supervised at all times when near or in the water.
- Swimming skills – Unintentional drowning and near-drowning events can be prevented when children and adults have adequate swimming skills. During the summer, there are many swimming classes available at local youth programs, as well as many swimming instructors who advertise their services. Ensuring that your children and anyone using the pool knows how to swim is critical to ensuring their safety, but it still does not eliminate the need for supervision.
- Emergency response – When accidents happen in or near swimming pools, it can take time for emergency medical crews to respond and administer aid. As such, you can protect your loved ones by learning CPR and other emergency response techniques that can make the difference when it matters most.
- Pool fencing – If you have a pool, installing a barrier or fencing around its perimeter can prevent unsupervised access, especially by children. Safety experts recommend four-sided fencing around pools, which can reduce drowning risks by as much as 80 percent.
- Alcohol use – Summer pool parties commonly involve celebrations and alcohol, but it is important to ensure that alcohol is used responsibly. Alcohol is a contributing factor in up to 70% of injuries and deaths involving water recreation, according to the CDC, which is why it should be consumed wisely when swimming and supervising others.
Making safety a priority can help you protect yourself and your loved ones from being harmed in preventable swimming pool accidents. Unfortunately, not everyone takes reasonable measures in protecting the safety of others. When homeowners, public pool facilities, and operators of private pools fail to provide safe premises for visitors and guests who suffer injuries as a result of their negligence, they can potentially be held liable for their damages when victims file personal injury claims.
At Boswell & Dunlap, LLP, our Polk County personal injury attorneys are available to help victims and families protect their rights following preventable injuries. If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of a swimming pool accident, of have suffered injuries while on another’s property, we can help you better understand your rights and learn whether you might have a valid claim for compensation. To discuss a potential case, contact us for a FREE consultation.