Property owners have obligations to prevent drowning injuries under the California Swimming Pool Safety Act if they put in pools. Because pools are attractive nuisances, which could entice trespassers and children to come onto the property and be subject to drowning risks, property owners must securely fence in swimming pool areas.
Owners of both public and private pools must follow regulations for pool safety and can become legally responsible if accidents happen due to risky pool conditions. A personal injury lawyer can provide representation to injured individuals and family members of drowning victims who are hurt or killed because of unsafe or unsecured swimming pools.
POOL SAFETY TIPS FOR VISTA PARENTS AND PROPERTY OWNERS
United States Consumer Product Safety Commission reports summer is an especially dangerous time for drowning incidents. At least 152 children 15 and under have drowned in a swimming pool or spa this summer already and 86 of the drownings occurred since Memorial Day Weekend. July 4th is also a very high risk time for drownings each year, with an average of 23 children dying in pools and spas from July 30th to July 6th over the past four years.
Fatal drownings can occur in seconds and often parents and pool owners are not even aware an adult or a child is drowning. CPSC warns “fatal drownings don’t look like they do in the movies- they’re silent, happen in an instant, and devastate families for a lifetime.” There are some simple steps to take to try to reduce the chances of adults and children being one of the victims of these devastating incidents. Tips to stay safe include:
- Teaching children how to swim (and learning how to swim as an adult if you do not already know).
- Ensuring a self-closing and self-latching gate at least four feet or taller is installed around the entire perimeter of the swimming pool.
- Watching children closely around all bodies of water, including swimming pools and spas.
- Always looking in a pool or a spa first if a child is missing.
- Designating one adult at all times who will be 100 percent focused on watching kids and who won’t be distracted.
- Ensuring any public pool or spa being used complies with federal safety rules and ensuring the pool manager of the facility complies with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act. The VGB act was enacted in 2007 to set standards for drain covers and anti-entrapment systems.
- Learning how to do CPR on adults and kids and practicing regularly.
- Using a lockable cover on a spa.
- Having a life ring, fiberglass reaching poll, float, and other lifesaving equipment accessible around bodies of water.
By following these basic safety guidelines, hopefully children and adults of all ages can avoid drowning accidents and stay safe. From 2010 to 2012, an average of approximately 400 children under 15 drowned each year and 75 percent of the fatal drownings involved kids under five. Parents need to be especially cognizant of the risks kids face and ensure they are following recommendations for safety to prevent a tragedy.