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A closer look at one of summer's biggest draws -- and biggest dangers

With the summer heat now in full effect, the first stop for many children is naturally the sprinkler or, of course, the nearest swimming pool. While this has been the reality for decades, what's also been the reality for decades is that swimming pools present an elevated risk of injuries -- and fatalities -- for young children.

If you don't believe that it, consider that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has determined that drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children between the ages of one to four.

To help illustrate the point further, consider some additional sobering statistics from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:

  • Emergency departments treated an average of 4,900 pool and spa-related drowning injuries per year from 2011 to 2013
  • Pool and spa-related fatalities among children between 0-14 years of age averaged 390 per year from 2011 to 2013, with children younger than five-years-old accounting for 76 percent of these fatalities
  • Most states, Rhode Island included, averaged between 0-5 pool and spa-related fatalities among children between 0-14 years of age in 2014; however, some of the warmer weather states saw significantly higher numbers, including Arizona (22), California (36), Florida (50), and Texas (25)
  • Pool and spa-related drowning injuries and fatalities reach their peak levels from May through August

Regarding where these tragic accidents are occurring, the USCPSC has found that 47 percent of pool and spa-related injuries took place in residential settings and another 27 percent at public settings (including apartment and condominium complexes). Regarding pool and spa-related fatalities, it found in-ground pools presented the greatest danger (58 percent of deaths), followed by above-ground pools (17 percent).   

We'll continue this discussion in our next post, examining some of the risk factors associated with pool and spa-related drowning injuries and fatalities, as well as some basic tips that can make all the difference in keeping kids safe.

If your family has suffered irreparable damage because of a swimming pool accident that you believe is attributable to the negligence of a third party, please consider speaking with an experienced legal professional to learn more about your options for pursuing justice. 

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