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How Safe Is Your Pool?

Since Memorial Day Weekend, there have been seven drowning incidents in California—four drownings and three near drownings. Given the number of accidents so early in the summer swimming season, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has launched a Pool Safely: Simple Steps Save Lives campaign.

The CPSC recommends that residential pool and spa owners adopt water safety steps designed to prevent a tragic pool accident. By asking and answering these critical questions, you can gauge the effectiveness of your water safety measures, and determine what steps need to be taken to protect children from injuries:

  • Is there a fence around the perimeter of your pool or spa?
  • Are there self-closing and self-latching gates?
  • Are there door, gate or pool alarms in use?
  • Does your pool have anti-entrapment drain covers that are compliant with the Pool & Spa Safety Act?
  • Are all pool and spa covers in working order?
  • Has the public pool or spa you use been inspected to ensure it is compliant with federal, state and local laws?
  • Has someone in the family received training in CPR, first aid and emergency response?
  • Has everyone learned to swim?

According to the CPSC, an average of 5,200 children under 15 were treated in emergency rooms for pool or spa-related submersion injuries from 2009 to 2011. Approximately 58 percent of fatalities (annual average of 226) occurred in in-ground pools, while portable pools accounted for 10 percent of the reported fatalities (annual average of 40) to children younger than 15 years of age.

To help avoid injuries, below are a few important tips from the CPSC:

  • Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa and always watch your child when he or she is in or near water.
  • Have a telephone close by when you or your family is using a pool or spa.
  • If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first.
  • Install a four-foot or taller fence around the pool and spa and use self-closing and self-latching gates; ask your neighbors to do the same at their pools.
  • Install pool and gate alarms to alert you when children go near the water
  • Ensure any pool and spa you use has compliant drain covers, and ask your pool service provider if you do not know
  • Maintain pool and spa covers in good working order
  • Consider using a surface wave or underwater alarm

In addition, pool toys can also pose a risk to children. For more information about an important pool slide recall, please see our previous post.

If you or a member of your family has suffered from a severe pool injury, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact experienced San Diego personal injury attorney Robert Vaage for a free consultation.