Even if you own or rent a house with a swimming pool, or go to a private or community pool, it is significant to remember that pools bring dangers that result to severe injuries and even deaths. The findings from the studies conducted show the harsh link between the pools and injuries.
Based on the federal government’s data, fatal drowning is still the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-associated death for the children between 1 and 14 years. With the younger children from 1 to 4, the risks increase to make unintentional drowning the largest resource of injury-associated deaths.
For each child who is dying from drowning and another 4 children obtained emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries. All, including men, minorities, and even children are at greater risk from pool-related injuries, which is according to the data of Centers for Disease Control or CDC. There are 283 yearly average of drowning deaths and 2,700 cases of emergency room-treated submersion injuries which involve children below 5 years old in pools and spas. Most of the children who drown in swimming pools were last seen at their houses, have not been seen for 5 minutes or even less, and were in the care of one or both parents during the drowning.
The Nonfatal Swimming Pool Injury
Most of the serious but nonfatal swimming pool injuries include traumatic brain injury or TBI, disembowelment and evisceration, and other submersion injuries.
TBI can happen when the swimmer dives into the pool and hits his/her head and may not appear to be injured.
John Edwards, a lawyer and a former presidential candidate, who acted for several swimming pool injury victims and their families in legal charges where children involved were disemboweled or eviscerated after being caught in the pools with missing or defective drain covers. The result of these swimming pool drain injuries were fatal such that, when the bottom of the child covers the drain portal of the pool, the matching suction force may disembowel the children through the ruptured rectum. A slight change in the pressure can lead to pool injuries, as stated by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.
US Lifesaving Association also reported that lifeguards had prevented over 564,000 water-associated injuries in 2009 alone. Take note also that not all swimming pools have lifeguards, particularly at hotels and private residence.
Swimming Pool Dangers
With the presence of state and federal laws, codes and standards for the pools and spas to stop body entrapment, entanglement, hair entrapment, evisceration, severe nonfatal swimming pool injuries and even deaths still happen.
Swimming pools that are particularly built for young children, public pools for the children, the spas with flat-drain gates, and pools with one main drain system bring greater risks of entrapment for the children.
Slippery pool decks, ladders and stairs, electrical defects, unsafe pool toys, pool slides and diving boards can contribute to injure swimmers and non-swimmers at the pools.
Medical Treatment and Recovery from Swimming Pool Injuries
Medical treatment for the pool injuries can be very extensive which may entail life-changing therapies and rehabilitation. This is because the rectum, GI tract, colon, and intestines are the most damaged in some pool injuries and the victims of pool disembowelment and evisceration have a colostomy that permits the elimination of the human waste from the body through a bag that is fixed to the abdomen. The victims of disembowelment may be fed intravenously and be more vulnerable to infection.
Apart from physical damages, mental and emotional damage experienced by the victims of pool injuries can be serious.
TBI victims also need to have lifetime maintenance with extensive rehabilitation and application of costly assistive technology which include augmentative and alternative communication tools.
Swimming Pool Injuries and Your Legal Rights
The state and federal laws regarding the safety of swimming pools and their equipment must be adhered to by the manufacturers, sellers, and installers of the pools and spas.
If you or one of your family members suffered from swimming pool-associated injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for the present and future costs, aside from the special legal damages.
Legal Factors that the Lawyer Can Review with the Victims:
- If you or your family members may be entitled to compensation for the present and future medical treatment, rehabilitation, and costs;
- If you or family members can recover the lost wages from work, and other personal expenses from swimming pool injuries;
- If the swimming pool injury may provide you or one of your family members to recover damages for the distress and suffering.
- Build a 4-sided, isolation pool fence that fully separates the house and the play area of the backyard from the pool location. The fence must be at least 4 feet high and you should use self-closing and self-latching gates that open outward with the latches that are away from the children. You should also consider adding more barriers like automatic door locks or alarms to stop the access or alerts you when somebody enters the pool location.
- Avoid entering a pool or spa with a loosened, broken, or missing drain cover.
- Remove the floats, balls, and other toys from the pool and around the place right away after using them. These toys may encourage the children to enter the pool area or lean over the pool and potentially fall in.
- Avoid playing near the pool drains or suction outlets, particularly in the children’s pools and spas.
- Inquire from any recreation center, hotel, or vacation center about how they can monitor the pool safety and probable hazards.
- Never leave your children unattended or alone at any pool, even if it is your own pool, a public pool, or private swimming facility.