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Perilous Pools – Protecting Your Loved Ones

Pool/Open Water Injuries and Fatalities Occur Frequently Across the US

Summer fun in the sun can turn to tragedy in the blink of an eye. Pools, lakes and other swimming attractions flourish with visitors during the summer months – but there are very serious dangers lurking beneath the surface.  Many people have a false sense of security, for themselves and their children.  Preventing pool/water injuries requires vigilance and perhaps, a bit of luck.

Drowning Dangers

Public pools vs. private pools vs. bodies of water all pose very different, but very real threats.  Would you know what to do in an emergency if you were relaxing by your pool, a neighbor’s pool or a water park attraction?  Many children can go under water without notice because more often than not, victims do not flail for help.

  • Public pools are typically guarded, but children are at risk of getting lost in the crowd
  • Private pools and accidental drowning occur due to failure to monitor the pool and/or inability to resuscitate
  • Fresh water drowning and the threat of electrocution at marinas, docks, boat yards
  • Currents and rip tides in lakes and oceans can drag victims under quickly

Scary Numbers

The Center for Disease Control estimates that from 1999-2010, over 3,800 deaths – or over 10 deaths per day, resulted from drowning in the US.

  • Over 80% of drowning victims are male
  • 1 of every 5 victims are under the age of 14
  • For every child that dies, another 5 receive emergency care following a near drowning accident
  • Over 50% of injured victims require additional care – including long term care (resulting from oxygen deprivation, learning disabilities and more)
  • Children age 1-4 have the highest rates of drowning, typically in home pools. This is the second leading cause of death for this particular age group, only behind genetic / birth disorders.

Injuries beyond Drowning

Many additional threats are prevalent in and around a pool or body of water. Depth related neck and/or back injuries can yield devastating results, slips and falls are common and general injury risk is heightened.

  • 2% of diving related accidents happen in 4 feet or less of water
  • 10% or less of diving accidents actually involve a diving board
  • NO above ground pool is made for diving
  • More than 50% of accidents involve alcohol consumption
  • Decorative chairs, stools, benches poise additional dangers resulting in minor injury all the way to head trauma

The American Red Cross recommends 9+ feet depth for diving, which is typically impossible in any above ground pool. It is best to restrict any entry horseplay, jumps, diving or tricks to prevent injuries.

Preventing Injury

Taking steps to prevent pool related injuries and drowning can have a profound impact.  Protecting your loved ones and others that may be present is imperative. Pools can be enjoyed responsibly, with a few simple best practices! 

  • Barriers / fencing
  • Training / swim classes
  • Clear rules
  • Clear supervision
  • CPR training
  • Proper safety gear – Water wings do NOT count
  • Buddy system
  • Pool safety and security devices

If you or a loved one was injured in a pool related accident or tragic drowning, contact the personal injury attorneys at NRS Injury Law by filling out our No-Risk Consultation form, or call (855) GOT-HURT and speak with one of our trained staff members.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this Post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
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