Swimming Personal Injuries
Know Your Risk. Know Your Rights
Swimming is one of the primary ways to beat the summer heat. In fact, fly over the Phoenix metropolitan area and it seems every other house has its own private pool.
It’s cool. It’s refreshing. It’s fun. And what better way is there to spend quality time with friends and family?
On the flip side, listen to the nightly news during summer and they’ll tally the running total of drowning incidents. In 1980, the epidemic inspired Dave Munsey of Fox 10 News to start his water safety program “Watch Your Kids Around Water.”
The sad reality is about ten people die from drowning every day, of these two are children aged 14 or younger. Additionally, more than 50% of nonfatal drowning victims require further care. Many suffer permanent brain damage and long-term disabilities. The costs of care for these individuals can easily reach into the hundreds of thousands.
As humans, we don’t always like to dwell on the thought of tragedy. Yet, it does happen.
Earlier this year, several Gilbert families’ lives changed in an instant. The tragic backyard pool accident led to the untimely death of a child, a severe injury for another, and emotional and financial turmoil for all involved.
When you go swimming, you should understand your risks.
Injuries and drowning can easily happen around a pool whether the cause is horsing around, running on a slippery surface, diving into shallow water, or swimming while intoxicated.
Any time you’re choosing to participate in an activity, including swimming in your neighbor’s pool, you’re accepting the risks.
Then who is responsible for a swimming personal injury?
The fact is the owner of the swimming pool shoulders the largest responsibility for providing a safe environment for both those actively using the pool and for those who may be around it when it is not in use. The homeowner must be proactive in maximizing preventative measures.
What are methods of prevention?
Below are some basic actions a pool owner can take based on the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona’s, “BLOCK, WATCH, And LEARN.”
Most often, accidental drowning occurs when the pool is not actively being used. Make sure the swimming pool is secure when not in use. Check city fence requirements and choose to add additional safety features as necessary. Gates should be self-closing and latches should be higher than a child could reach.
- Pool alarms and nets are alternative forms of blocking.
- Make sure toys are cleared from the pool when not in use, so children are not tempted to reach after them.
- Never prop open gates or leave objects, such as chairs, nearby that a child could climb and reach the latch. Many children have drowned in pools that were fenced.
The key word in Munsey’s aforementioned slogan is “watch.” There is no better defense against drowning and injury than supervision.
Supervision is non-negotiable when both children and adults are using the pool. Appoint a key person to oversee the pool and switch off duty regularly.
Enroll children in swim lessons early. Even infants can learn flotation techniques that could save their life.
Have household members take a CPR class and understand how to use rescue equipment.
It’s important to protect your rights.
Even if a “Swim at Your Own Risk” sign is posted, if you’re injured in a pool accident you have rights.
If you or your loved one suffers a pool-related accident, working with Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer can ensure their rights are protected and they receive the care and compensation they deserve.