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

In our previous post, our blog began discussing how one of the preferred destinations for young children during the hot summer days is also one of the most dangerous. Specifically, we discussed how swimming pools present an elevated risk of serious injuries and fatalities for little ones.

To illustrate this point, we pointed to sobering statistics from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which found that emergency departments treated an average of 4,900 pool and spa-related drowning injuries per year from 2011 to 2013, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which identified drowning as the leading cause of unintentional death for children ages one to four.

Given that the USCPSC has determined that 47 percent of pool and spa-related injuries occur in residential settings and another 27 percent at public settings, the question naturally arises as to why the danger to young children is so acute in these seemingly controlled settings.

According to the CDC, some of the primary risk factors associated with these pool and spa-related accidents include:

  • A lack of barriers or otherwise adequate barriers
  • A lack of close supervision
  • A lack of swimming ability on the part of children and adults
  • A lack of proper training in life-saving techniques among adults

Based on this reality, officials with both the CDC and the USCPSC indicate that following these simple tips can make all the difference in keeping kids safe:

  • Construct a fence around the pool (or spa) in conjunction with applicable state/local regulations, and take things one-step further by installing pool fencing equipped with self-closing gates to ensure the protection of children positioned within the outer fence area.
  • If such fencing is already present, make it safer by installing gate alarms that are designed to emit a loud noise if unpermitted entry is made at either the inner or the outer layers.
  • Install pool (and spa) alarms that are designed to emit a loud noise if the water surface is broken.
  • Ensure that an adult(s) who knows how to swim and who is trained in CPR is present whenever children are in the water, and that they are not distracted from the important task of watching little ones.
  • Have children take formal swimming lessons as soon as possible
  • Keep pool surface areas free of debris to prevent accidental slips, trips and falls into the water

If the unimaginable happens and your family suffers a devastating loss in a swimming pool accident that is more than likely attributable to the negligence of another, please understand that you can pursue justice for your loss.

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