Swimming pools can be dangerous places where children suffer serious injuries or death. What are the causes of these accidents and how can you prevent them?

Children’s Swimming Pool Accidents: Why They Happen and Tips to Prevent Them

swimming pool dangers for childrenChildren love spending an afternoon at an indoor or outdoor pool with their friends or family. While this can be an enjoyable recreational activity that can also involve healthy exercise, a swimming pool can be very dangerous, especially to children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 3,536 fatalities in swimming pool accidents in 2014. One in five of these fatalities were children under 14 years old. In addition, for every child who died from an accident, five more were treated by emergency providers for submersion injuries. Swimming pool accidents can lead to fatal drownings, catastrophic injuries such as brain injuries and internal organ damage, broken bones, spinal and back injuries, and more.

What Are the Causes of Swimming Pool Accidents Involving Children?

Pools can be attractive nuisances, and property owners have a duty to secure them so that children not authorized to be there are kept out of the swimming pool area. In addition, when children as well as adults are guests or patrons of a pool, the owner has a duty to keep the pool and surrounding areas free of dangerous conditions and to place signs up to warn them of hazards. When owners breach these duties, they can be liable for compensating a child who suffers injuries or his family if he drowns. Common ways swimming pool accidents are caused by owners’ negligence include:

  • Failing to install proper barriers around the swimming pool
  • Not providing supervision by a lifeguard or the posting of a warning that no lifeguard is present
  • Failing to install and maintain anti-entrapment devices to prevent children from being trapped by powerful drains
  • Allowing slip and fall accident hazards to exist, such as an uneven or excessively slippery pool deck, water and debris on public restroom floors, and defective swimming pool ladders
  • Providing defective or inadequate safety equipment
  • Allowing people to swim in contaminated water
  • Not repairing faulty electrical wires and allowing other electrical dangers to exist that can result in electrocution
  • Not marking the pool depth, especially near diving board areas
  • Having inadequate handrails on diving boards and no nonskid material at the end of the board
  • Failing to clean up excessively slippery substances on diving boards

Tips for Avoiding a Swimming Pool Accident

You can take safety precautions to try to keep your children safe when at a swimming pool. These are important tips to follow any time you go to the pool:

  • Supervise your children at all times.
  • Always have your children swim with a buddy.
  • Be certain that at least one adult at the pool knows CPR.
  • Keep the pool deck clear of toys.
  • Never allow your children to dive in the shallow end of the pool.
  • Prohibit your children from engaging in horseplay or running near the pool.
  • Do not rely on inflated toys as safety devices.
  • Be certain that your children learn to swim.
  • If your child cannot swim, have him use a life jacket.

Even if you follow these safety guidelines, your child could be injured in a swimming pool accident due to the owner’s negligence. If he suffers injuries, you need to pursue a claim for compensation on his behalf. To learn about your legal options, fill out our online form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.