Although the weather is always nice in California, summertime is the season when splashing around in a pool can be an especially fun way to cool off. However, a pool can also be a place of injury or even death. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control, drowning is a top cause of death for kids ages 1-4 and is the 5th leading cause of unintentional death for kids and adults of all ages.
Our Costa Mesa injury attorneys know that kids and adults will be spending more time at pools over summer break. Everyone needs to be safe in and around water so a fun afternoon does not turn into a tragedy.
Tips for Staying Safe In and Around Swimming Pools
The Center for Disease Control offer some tips that can help you to avoid swimming pool accident and injuries. Their tips address important issues such as:
- Fencing - Having a fence is a very effective safety measure that will help ensure that no kids enter into the pool unsupervised or without permission. Fences need to be a minimum of four feet high with a gate that self latches and self closes. The latches should be out of the reach of children and the gate should open outward. If your pool isn't fenced or if the gate is left open and a neighbor child drowns, you can be liable
- Life Jackets - A properly fitting life jacket is a good idea even in a pool. Toys such as noodles, air-filled water wings or inner tubes are not a good substitute for a life jacket.
- Lessons - Swimming and safety lessons can start as early as age one. Lessons can reduce the risk of drowning among one to four year children by as much as 88 percent.
- Supervision - Nothing takes the place of supervision, not even gates, fences or alarms. Most children who drown in pools were last seen in the home, were out of sight for less than five minutes and were under the care of one or both parents. Remember drowning can happen in a moment and can happen quietly.
- CPR - Brain damage can result from being submerged. Administering CPR immediately can significantly reduce this chance.
- Put away toys after use - If you stash all the toys and floats from the pool area after using them, the pool will be less alluring for young children.
The California Swimming Pool Safety Act of 2006
California has certain laws designed to ensure pool safety. For example, the California Swimming Pool and Spa Safety Act of 2006 states that any pool built after January 1, 2007 should be equipped with at least one of the following seven drowning prevention safety features:
- An enclosure for the pool
- A safety cover for the pool
- Exit alarms on any doors that offer direct access to the swimming pool
- Doors to the pool equipped with self-closing and self-latching devices containing a release mechanism.
- Mesh fencing that complies with the standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)
- Swimming pool alarms that comply with the ASTM standards.
- Other protections equal to those that are listed
A failure to follow the law and to secure the pool can result in liability if a drowning accident occurs.
If you or a family member has been injured in a swimming pool incident, contact HOWARD LAW P.C. for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call (800) 872-5925.