Earlier this year tragedy struck a former Olympic skier and his wife when their 19-month-old drowned in a neighbor’s pool. According to reports, Bode’s wife and daughter were visiting their Orange County neighbor when the toddler wandered off. She was discovered a few moments later floating in the nearby pool. The mother jumped in and attempted to rescue her, but the girl died later that evening at a local hospital.
Swimming Pool Accidents
Swimming pool accidents and drownings are a leading cause of death among young children. In fact, accidental drowning is the leading cause of death of kids between the ages of 1 and 4. Three-quarters of all unintended drownings in the United States involve children under the age of 5. Sadly, most of these accidents happen when parents or adults are nearby. It only takes moments for a child to be submerged in an amount of water that can be fatal.
Swimming Pool Injuries
Swimming pool accidents do not have to be fatal to devastate a family. Most children do not die in swimming pool accidents, but do suffer from life-changing injuries. These include:
- Internal organ damage
- Brain damage from lack of oxygen
- Seizure disorders
- Amputation, and
- Spinal cord injury.
These types of injuries can affect a child for the rest of their life. Some children may suffer disabilities that prevent them from living on their own or holding down a job.
Why Are Swimming Pool Accidents Involving Children So Common?
Children are at the greatest risk of drowning. In the summer of 2017 – between Memorial Day and Labor Day – 163 children under the age of 15 were killed in drowning accidents involving pools and spas. Only 51 of those children were over the age of 5. Why are kids so vulnerable to fatal swimming pool drownings?
Kids Can’t Swim: Swimming is something that we have to learn. Many young children are not taught to swim at a young age. It is important to teach any child who will be around water how to swim. Children who are not old enough to learn should not be allowed anywhere near a pool.
Inadequate Fencing: In Orange County, swimming pools must be surrounded by protective fencing and gates. These fences help to ensure that young children will not wander into the pool by themselves.
Slippery Conditions: Even if kids can swim, they must be conscious to do so successfully. If the conditions around the pool are slippery, kids may slip and fall. If they hit their head before falling into the pool they may not be able to swim.
Unsupervised Swimming: Even kids who know how to swim must be supervised. Cramps or fatigue can prevent a child form treading water. Parents and adults should never take their eyes off the pool.
Lack of Safety Devices: If you have a pool in your backyard you need to make sure it is equipped with the proper safety devices and pumps. A malfunctioning pump could drag a child underwater and cause them to drown.
Seizures: Children who suffer from seizure disorders may be most at risk in the pool. These children should be watched at all times and use flotation devices.
Who is Responsible for Swimming Pool Accident?
Parents are always responsible for keeping their eye on their kids. However, property owners also have an obligation to make sure that any guests will not be put in harm’s way. Specifically, property owners have to protect guests from foreseeable harm. Owners must routinely inspect property and fix any dangerous conditions to satisfy this duty. If a swimming pool is not surrounded by fence, poorly maintained, lacking warning signs, or not equipped with certain safety devices, that owner can be responsible for harm.
Others who may be responsible for swimming pool accident include:
- Swimming pool designers
- Swimming pool contractors
- Swimming pool companies, or
- Product manufacturers.
Orange County Swimming Pool Accident Lawyer
Has your child been injured in an Orange County swimming pool accident? Contact the Law Offices of John Rapillo for help. Our personal injury attorneys will investigate the cause of your accident and find out why it happened.
We will then pursue compensation from anyone who may be responsible. This will allow us to maximize the financial award you get. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.
Law Offices of John Rapillo