Preventing Pool Accidents
Summer is here, and people will be heading towards swimming pools all over Wisconsin. While swimming is certainly a fun summer activity, pools can also be dangerous places. Drowning and diving accidents are real concerns, and Laufenberg, Stombaugh & Jassak, S.C. would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the potential hazards that exist in swimming pools.
Diving Accidents and Injuries
Diving injuries often involve damage to the head or spinal cord. These injuries are mostly caused by two ways: diving into a pool that is too shallow, or injuring oneself on a diving board. Diving accidents are a significant cause of spinal cord injuries. Each year, approximately 13,000 diving-board-related injuries are sufficiently serious to be brought to hospital emergency rooms. Pool owners have an obligation to ensure that the depth levels of their pools are well marked and that swimmers only dive in designated areas.
Preventing Pool Drowning and Near-Drowning
If you are a parent or spend much time around kids, you already know that kids under 5 like to wander and explore. As much as we’d like to, we can’t always keep them in our line of sight. We also know that they don’t always listen to us. The best way to stop young kids from going to places you don’t want them to go is by setting up barriers. Stairway gates and locks take care of this need inside the home.
Pools are no different. Drowning is the second largest killer of children under five years old from accidental injuries. By erecting gates and barriers completely around the pool, you greatly reduce the possibility of a child entering unsafe areas around your pool without your knowledge. As much as children like to explore, they also don’t want to endanger themselves. Often, seeing a gate or barrier around an area makes a much more powerful impression on children than anything you can tell them.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission provides more extensive guidelines for keeping residential in-ground pools and above ground pools properly fenced and gated.
Prevent Drain Entrapment Accidents
Pool and spas have powerful draining systems that are used to filter several hundred gallons of pool water everyday. Drains have the pulling power to hold a grown man under water, and when hair, bracelets, toes, fingers or bathing suits get trapped in a drain, this can lead to serious drowning hazards for both adults and young children.
While not as prevalent as diving and other types of drowning accidents, drain entrapment accidents do occur. New construction pools with gutter systems no longer require open drains, and older pool drains can be equipped with tamper-resistant covers.
For more information about drowning accidents and how to prevent them, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
When accidents do occur in a residential or municipal pool, and injury or death is the result, it’s important to explain the facts of your situation to an experienced attorney that understands liability and personal injury law. Laufenberg, Stombaugh & Jassak, S.C. have years of experience in helping the injured of Wisconsin receive fair treatment from those that were responsible for their injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered head or spinal cord injuries as a result of a diving accident or near drowning accident, or if you’ve lost a child or loved one in a drowning accident, contact our offices today.