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Pool Safety Campaign Addresses Child Drownings

More than 75 percent of the drownings and pool-related injuries from 2012-2016 involved children younger than 5 years of age, states a recent report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). This public health crisis is the focus of a new Pool Safely campaign, launched jointly by the CPSC and the Michael Phelps Foundation. Since its launch more than 7 years ago, the Pool Safely campaign has cultivated over 1,000 partners that assist in public outreach and education to help parents and families learn more about safety measures in and around pools and spas.

Some of the campaign partners include notable organizations like the National Drowning Prevention Alliance, Walmart, the U.S. YMCA, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Red Cross, and the Boy Scouts of America. The goal of this nationwide initiative is to reduce the number of fatal and non-fatal drownings and entrapments in swimming pools and spas.

“We are making progress, but we need even more kids taking swim lessons, more adults serving as Water Watchers, more fences installed, and more people trained in CPR.  Today’s swimming lesson with Michael and his Foundation serves as a reminder of the importance of all children learning how to swim—no matter where they live or what their circumstance,” said CPSC Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle in a recent press release.

Fatal drownings and pool-related injuries

Recent statistics on pool drownings and injuries underscore the need for pool owners and operators to have proper safety measures in place. A staggering 50 percent of all drownings and pool injuries in children under 15 years of age happen at home, reports the CPSC.  Public or community swimming pools were the site of the majority of drownings in kids under the age of 9.

In order to keep children safe this summer and beyond, pool owners are encouraged to review the following checklist:

  • Never leave children unattended in a pool
  • Designate a “water watcher” if a lifeguard is not on duty
  • Install a safety barrier (at least 4-feet tall) around the perimeter of the pool
  • Use self-closing gates that open outward from the pool
  • Ensure pool water, equipment and surroundings are properly maintained and free of hazards
  • For those with an above ground pool, ensure the ladder is removed and the pool covered when not in use.

Pool owner liability

Safety authorities say that insufficient pool barriers and lack of supervision are the two leading causes of drowning and injury accidents among young children, particularly in residential pool settings. When proper precautions are not taken, and death or injury occurs, pool owners and operators may be held liable in a court of law.

Failing to install a perimeter fence, leaving your pool gate unlocked, allowing small children to swim without supervision, or failing to prevent access to your swimming pool may be considered acts of negligence. In addition, New York State law mandates that every swimming pool constructed or modified after 2006 must be equipped with a pool alarm that can detect when a child enters the water. Pool owners must also make sure that all suction outlets are covered to prevent entrapment.

New York personal injury lawyers

In the event of an accidental drowning or injury at a swimming pool or spa, it’s important to understand your legal rights to compensation. The law firm of Edelman, Krasin & Jaye offers confidential case reviews and can quickly determine if you have grounds to bring a civil claim for damages under theories of premises liability. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Long Island premises liability attorney, we invite you to call us toll-free at 1-800-469-7429.

Additional Pool Safety Resources:

  1. US Consumer Product Safety Commission, Pool Safely and Michael Phelps Foundation Announce Partnership to Help Families Stay Safer In and Around Pools and Spas https://www.cpsc.gov/Newsroom/News-Releases/2017/Pool-Safely-and-Michael-Phelps-Foundation-Announce-Partnership-to-Help-Families-Stay-Safer-In-and-Around-Pools-and-Spas
  2. NY Gov, Current Requirements for Swimming Pools Contained in the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (Uniform Code) https://www.dos.ny.gov/dcea/pdf/PoolsumUC0708.pdf