There is an average of 10 people who drown each day in the United States, and two of those people are under the age of 14 years old. In fact, the Center for Disease Control found that drowning is second in cause of death only to congenital anomalies for children under four. Often this happens at a private swimming pool or a vacation home. While many assume that drowning means death, it is common for victims to be severely injured in the brain resulting in long-term vegetative states (loss of primary function), memory issues or learning disabilities.
Every pool owner and parent are well aware of the dangers of pools, hot tubs, kiddie pools, and even standing water on the property, but there are still lapses in judgment. This can involve not paying attention to how children or guests behave. It can also mean that the owner exhibits a lapse in judgment.
Here are smart precautions that owners can take to reduce the risk of injury or death by drowning:
- Provide safety gear for novice swimmers: Children or adults can use this, but the rules for usage should be enforced, particularly among young children who do not understand the dangers of water.
- Erect a fence: Fencing is legally required to be four feet high with no potential toeholds for climbing. This can reduce the risk of someone falling in accidentally or a child who wanders into the pool area unbeknownst to the person in charge.
- Supervision is critical: People tend to be too trusting with swimmers of even modest skill, or if the pool is shallow – drowning can happen to anyone, and anywhere there is standing water.
Lawsuits not uncommon
Families with children or young loved ones need to be vigilant. The injured or the family of the injured will often file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the owner who was inattentive or did not offer adequate safety equipment for guests.