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Pool Accidents & Drowning – By A PA & NJ Injury Lawyer

Pool accidents drownings - PA NJ personal injury accident lawyerThe pools are officially opened for the summer.  Many families flock to swim clubs and local community pools to spend hot summer days.  However, families with children have to be on alert for pool related accidents and drownings.  More drownings occur in July and August than any other time of the year.

Some common causes for pool related accidents and drownings for children are entrapment and negligent supervision.

Drain Entrapments

Drain entrapments happen when pool drains do not have drain covers.  Young children can get their hands or feet caught in the drain and become unable to get free.  As a result, they may drown or injure their hands or feet that are caught in the drain.

Negligent Supervision/Lack Of Supervision

Another common cause for pool related accidents and drownings for young children is negligent supervision or lack of supervision.  Though pools have lifeguards on duty, parents should not rely on the lifeguards.  Young children can drown in a matter of minutes.  Parents need to keep an eye on their children while in the pool.

Below are some tips for water safety to prevent pool related accidents and drowning for PA and NJ residents this summer:

  1. Establish pool rules.

Families should establish pool rules.  For instance, if there are multiple pools, tell the children where they can swim so you can see them.  If they want to go to another pool, they must come and tell you so you can keep an eye on them. 

  1. Swim near a lifeguard.

Children should swim near a lifeguard, whether it is at a pool or beach.  When kids swim near a lifeguard, it decreases their chances of drowning.  However, many hotel pools do not require lifeguards to be at the pools.  Therefore, parents need to keep a close watch on their children when swimming at hotel pools.

  1. Make sure the children are being supervised.

It is crucial to have proper supervision of your children when they are in a pool.  Parents should not rely on lifeguards.  Many times at pools or beaches, adults gather and talk while the children are in the water.  When adults are engaged in conversations, their attention is away from the children.  Accidents can happen when parents are not paying attention.

It is important to assign an adult to be in charge of supervising the children.  Someone in the party should be actively watching the water the entire time.

This is especially important when the children are being watched by relatives.  For example, when grandchildren visit their grandparents, grandparents need to make sure they are with the children at all times.  Grandparents may not be used to having children around and assume that the children are fine in the pools by themselves.

In addition, parents who take their children to the pool by themselves are often looking at their cell phones checking texts or Facebook accounts and talking on the cell phones while the children are swimming.  This is a mistake.  Parents need to be actively watching their children.

  1. Familiarize yourself and your children with the swimming area.

It is important to be familiar with the pool.  If it’s the first time the children are going to a specific pool, point out to the children where the shallow and deep ends are.  If it’s at a beach, check for flags and know where kids are allowed to swim.

What To Do After PA Pool Related Accidents, Near-Drowning Or Drownings

If a child is injured in a pool related accident due to someone’s negligence, the child has legal rights.  For instance, if a drain cover was missing from a drain which caused a child’s hand to get sucked in and crushed, the business/company that manages and/or owns the pool may be liable for the child’s injuries.

Let’s assume a member of the pool told management the week before that the drain cover was missing, and management said that it would fix it.  However, management forgot about it and never called anyone to fix it.  In this case, the pool would be responsible for the child’s hand/arm injuries.  If management had someone cover the drain, the child would not have been injured.

Some of the damages the child may recover are:

  • medical expenses, and
  • pain and suffering.

However, because the child is a minor, the child’s parents would have to bring a legal claim on behalf of their child.

For more information about PA and NJ pool related accidents, call the lawyers at White and Williams LLP.  Daniel J. O’Brien and his team are experienced personal injury lawyers and always offer a FREE consultation.  877.944.8396

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