Swimming Pool Drownings
The summer months in Georgia can be extremely warm and many families go to private and public pools for relief. Unfortunately, swimming pool drownings are far too common. Pools must be operated safely and appropriate safeguards should be in place to stop unsupervised children from being harmed. Contact us today if you have had a loved one who has drowned while using a swimming pool. We may be able to help.
What are the Common Reasons for Swimming Pool Drownings?
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CHC), from “2005-2014, there were an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States — about ten deaths per day.” While anyone is susceptible to drowning, children are particularly vulnerable.
- Approximately one in five people who die from drowning are under the age of 15.
- For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for “nonfatal submersion injuries.”
The CDC found that there are common risk factors associated with drowning deaths.
- Lack Swimming Ability: Not surprisingly, the inability to swim is the number one risk factor associated with drowning.
- Lack of Barriers: As discussed above, children are particularly susceptible to drowning. This is because they will often fail to appreciate the dangers associated with water. Barriers (such as gates or pool covers) should be used to prevent unsupervised children from using the pool.
- Lack of Proper Supervision: Children who are not properly supervised are at a higher risk of drowning than those who are being monitored.
- Drug and Alcohol Use: Adolescents and adults can raise their risk levels through the consumption of drugs and alcohol.
There are many other factors that can make swimming pool use much more dangerous. Be aware that swimming can be a very dangerous activity and take steps to keep yourself and your family safe.
Who Might be Responsible for Pool Drownings?
There is a legal doctrine – referred to as the “attractive nuisance” doctrine – that says if a property owner creates a danger on their property that draws the unwary, then that property owner must take steps to prevent access to the danger. Under this doctrine a property owner who installs a pool must take precautions to prevent children from accessing the pool without proper supervision. These precautions include:
- Gates and Barriers. A gate can be a wonderful way to keep unsupervised children out of the pool. Gates should be properly installed and maintained and designed to prevent children from gaining access.
- Pool Covers. Most private pools now have an option of including a motorized and tight sealing pool cover. These covers are designed to be child-proof and can offer great protection.
Of course, there is no substitute for attentive adult supervision. More children using a pool can make it difficult for one adult to keep everyone safe. Adults should also refrain from alcohol intake while supervising children in the pool. Safety first!
How Can Ponton Law Help?
Atlanta swimming pool drowning attorney James Ponton has dedicated his practice to those families who have suffered injury or death due to the negligence of others. You can contact us online or call Ponton Law at 404-418-8507 to discuss your case.