Swimming pools can be a great source of fun and entertainment in the summer. Most people will swim in pools many times over their lifetimes and never have a safety incident. However, pools aren’t safe for everyone, particularly children.

Each day in the U.S., about 10 people die from drowning. For children between the ages of 1 and 14, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death. In addition to the deaths, there are thousands of drowning which aren’t fatal, but do cause brain damage or other very serious injuries. Statistics have shown that for every drowning death, there are somewhere between one and four near-drownings serious enough to require hospitalization.

Most of those accidents occur in backyard swimming pools. One study showed that swimming pools are over 10 times as likely as an automobile to be involved in the death of a child under the age of five. Shockingly, among the children who drown, 75 percent are missing for five minutes or less. And 70 percent of those children are in the care of one or both parents at the time of the accident.

The tragedy of drownings is they can be so easily prevented. Swimming pool owners, including individuals, recreation areas, hotels, apartment complexes, and others have a duty to secure their pool. Pool owners should install a fence around the pool with gates that aren’t easily accessible by children, and that can close and latch on their own. If a lifeguard is not present, there should be clear signs letting users know.

Pool accidents can also be prevented by properly supervising the pool when it’s in use. This is vitally important when children are using the pool. If young children are swimming, do not leave them unsupervised for even a moment, even if they know how to swim well. If older children or teens are using the pool who know how to swim, insist at a minimum that they swim with a friend. Flotation devices cannot take the place of another set of eyes in the pool.

For people who are seriously injured or killed in a drowning, legal help may be available. You could have a legal claim against a property owner whose pool wasn’t secured, an adult who failed to properly supervise your child, a water park who failed to properly provide life guards, or a swimming pool manufacturer who made a dangerous pool, such as a filter that could easily trap arms or legs. You could be entitled to compensation for medical expenses (both past and future), lost wages, pain and suffering, and wrongful death.

At Liberty Law, Micha Star Liberty believes that all pool owners have the responsibility to make their pools safe for visitors, especially children. If you or a loved one has suffered an accident involving a pool in the Oakland – San Francisco area, call Liberty Law at 415-896-1000 or 510-645-1000. Micha Star Liberty has extensive experience in helping accident victims obtain compensation, and she will be happy to work with you. Call her today.

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