The summer is in full swing, which means many families will be spending time in the pool or at the beach to beat the heat. But we all make sure to never leave a child unsupervised near a pool or any other body of water. Now the question is – how do parents decide if a child is ‘old enough’ to be unsupervised near a pool or at the beach?
Whilst most parents know the importance of water safety, the reality is that it only takes a few moments for a child to fall into the water and drown. Between 800 and 900 children drown every year in the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control. For children between ages 1 and 4, only birth defects cause more deaths than unintentional drowning. Of those deaths, most occur in home swimming pools.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC):
- Annually, 73 percent of the hospital emergency room-treated nonfatal drowning injuries from 2015 through 2017 involved children younger than five.
- Male children younger than 15 had twice as many fatal drowning as female children of the same age.
- From 2015 through 2017, an estimated average of 6,400 children younger than 15 years old were reportedly treated in hospital emergency rooms for nonfatal drowning injuries in pools or spas.
- Between 2015 and 2017, residential locations made up 74 percent of reported fatal drowning incidents, and at least 45 percent of reported nonfatal drowning incidents for children younger than 15.
- In addition, residential locations dominated reported incidents involving victims younger than five, with 54 percent of nonfatal drowning injuries among that age group from 2015 through 2017–and 85 percent for fatal drowning from 2013 through 2015–all occurring at a residence.
- The majority of the estimated hospital emergency room-treated, nonfatal drowning injuries for 2015 through 2017, and the reported fatal drowning for 2013 through 2015, were associated with pools (versus spas). Severely brain damaged victims have initial hospital stays in excess of 120 days and expenses in excess of $150,000.
Simple steps to ensure a safer summer this year:
- Install a fence or other barrier, such as a wall, completely around the pool.
- Ensure that the fence or other barrier is tall enough to prevent a young child from climbing over it.
- Install covers and alarms on and around your pool.
- Instruct babysitters about potential pool hazards to young children and about the use of protective devices, such as door alarms and latches.
- Never leave a child unsupervised near a pool. Do not allow a young child in the pool without an adult.
- Appoint a “designated watcher” to protect young children from pool accidents.
- Never consider flotation devices as a substitute for supervision.
- Do not consider young children to be drowningproof because they have had swimming lessons.
- Learn CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) and keep rescue equipment handy by the poolside.
- Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments.
The personal injury attorneys at Farahi Law Firm, APC know just how devastating these swimming pool accidents can be. Call to get free consultation today: 310-774-4500