Last night Hamilton County’s sheriff’s deputies were informed that a 3-year-old was removed from a swimming pool after having been underwater for an unknown amount of time. The Cincinnati-area boy was given CPR before being taken to an area hospital, where he died. The police say that the incident is being considered an accident and that charges are unlikely, but this does not mean that the accident could not have been prevented. To avoid tragedies like this, it is important to take steps to ensure the safety of children around your pool.
Here are some recommendations for protecting children from accidental drowning or near-drowning in your pool:
- If a child is missing, look in the pool first
- Completely enclose your pool in fences or walls at least 4 ft high
- If your house door opens to your pool area, install an alarm to warn you if a child enters the pool area
- Always supervise children in the pool area, even if they know how to swim
- Make sure the pool is surrounded by a non-slip surface
- Make sure cleaning and other equipment is removed from the pool after use
- Keep rescue equipment near pool, and make sure everyone knows how to use it
In addition to accidental falls into a pool, drowning may also result from entrapment by dangerous pool drains. To prevent this type of accident:
- Never use a pool with a missing or broken drain cover–have your pool inspected regularly
- Ensure your drain cover is designed to prevent entrapment
- Plainly mark the electrical cut-off for the pump and/or install a Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS), which turns off the pump if the drain is blocked
Following these guidelines can significantly reduce the risk that a swimming pool poses to children, including your own and others in the neighborhood.
If your child has suffered brain damage or wrongful death because of a pool that was not properly secured or maintained, a premises liability lawsuit can call attention to the dangers of swimming pools, and, hopefully, save other parents from suffering as you have suffered. To learn more, please contact the attorneys of Robert W. Kerpsack CO, LPA today.