As summer approaches, many public pools begin to open back up. Annually, almost 400 children under the age of 15 drown every summer—most often in pools and hot tubs. While safety is at the forefront of parents’ minds, the false reassurance that can come from assuming others are watching their kids is what often leads to drowning. Negligence creates turned backs as kids silently hyperventilate and struggle for help.
Know the signs
There are several key signs related to drowning. Children under the age of 5 are the highest risk group for drowning—and often the noisiest at the pool. When a child suddenly goes quiet, this is often the first sign of drowning. After silence, look for: flailing arms, heads tilted back, arms moving downward, and isolated children. Drowning weakens the body and makes children unable to call for help; these quiet symptoms are what makes water so deadly.
Look for lifeguards
If there are no lifeguards employed, it is your responsibility to watch your child. However, if there is a lifeguard on duty and your child drowns on their watch—this is grounds for a wrongful death suit. By law, every public pool in California must either have a lifeguard on duty or a sign posted alerting swimmers that there is NO LIFEGUARD present.
Accidents do happen
Even with all of this information at hand, it can be impossible to predict everything. Immediately begin performing CPR and call 911 even if the child is unresponsive when pulled from the water. Alert the lifeguard on staff—they are trained in first response. These acts are the difference between life and death. Despite these preventative measures, it may be impossible to resuscitate a drowned person. It is time for legal consultation.
Each case is different. If a loved one drowns and you believe it to be a wrongful death, don’t hesitate to get legal help. Contact us today for a consultation.