Enjoy the Pool – Safely!
While those of us who live in South Florida are used to warm weather all year ‘round, it is almost, officially, summertime. While the heat won’t be anything new (though we will see higher temperatures than we do the rest of the year), there will be some changes from the rest of the year: barbeques will be ignited on a regular basis, pools will be utilized frequently, and kids, young and older, will be free from the confines of school!
While summertime promises extra family time, more relaxation time and lots of fun by the water, it is important to remember that, as our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers know, with added enjoyment comes added risk – to your health and safety and to your liability if you are a homeowner with a pool.
Pools can be incredibly dangerous, and knowing how to be in and around one safely can make all the difference. Failure to observe standard, reasonable safety measures can yield frightening results and might explain why drowning is a leading cause of death for young children ages 1-4. Pool-injuries are far more common than you might think; for every child under 15 years old who dies from drowning in a pool, another 10 youngsters are provided emergency medical care for (nonfatal) submersion injures, which can cause brain damage, long-term disabilities, learning disabilities, etc. A number of factors, including one’s gender, sex, and location affect the drowning risk they face.
Overall, men (of every age group) are at a higher drowning of risk than are women. The greatest discrepancies between the risk of men and women are in the age group of 75+ where women are, on average, just 25% as likely as men to suffer a drowning death.
As noted above, age is also a major factor in determining drowning risk. While those between the ages of 1 and 4 are at the highest risk for drowning deaths, they are followed by the age group of 85+ and 75-84, meaning that senior citizens (men more so than women) are also at a relatively high risk of drowning. As for when people are at their lowest risk of drowning death, men are least at risk between the ages of 25 and 54, and women are least at risk between the ages of 20 and 34.
Aside from your sex and gender, also relevant to your relative risk is where in the U.S. you are located. For example, those in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and West Virginia are least at risk for drowning deaths on average. With mid-level degrees of relative risk are states like Utah, Missouri, California and Arizona (listed in order of increasing risk). Unfortunately, as our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers know, far and away, the state with the highest swimming pool drowning death rate in the United States is Florida, which has more than twice the swimming pool drowning death rate than California, another state with an incredibly large shoreline.
While you might not have control over the aforementioned factors, there are steps that you can take, and tips you can consider, which might make your pool experience a little safer and more relaxing. A very limited number of them are listed below, and many more can be located on the CDC’s relevant website here. Also check out the government’s dedicated pool safety website here.
- Use adequate fencing. More than half of all pool drowning deaths among children could be prevented, according to the CDC, by four-sided fencing which completely fences off the pool from the house and the yard. A proper fence should be at least 4 feet high and have closing latches which open outward, out of the reach of children.
- Door alams. Use door alarms on all doors (including sliding doors) leading out to the pool area. These alarms will go off if a young child happens to open a door and could prevent the child from falling into the pool.
- Supervise. If children are using the pool, make sure they are supervised by a qualified adult! Never leave a young child in or around a pool by him or herself. The result could be fatal.
- Lessons. There is no teacher like experience. One of the best things you can do for yourself and your children, to ensure that you are all safe when enjoying the swimming pool, is to make sure that you are all trained swimmers. Most people take driving lessons when learning how to drive. Taking swimming lessons is a smart way to prevent the manifestation of risks, such as drowning, which the pool might present.
If you have any questions about pool safety or any other personal injury issue, please contact our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Aronberg, Aronberg & Green by calling 561-266-9191 or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to assisting you!