Swimming Pool Safety and Liability
By Kenison Law Office
With the heat and humidity of summer, a refreshing dip in the backyard swimming pool can be a source of fun, but a pool can also present many dangers if they are not properly maintained or supervised. Here are some important things to be aware of before getting in the water to avoid swimming pool accidents and injuries.
Where can Swimming Pool Accidents Happen? Pool accidents can happen on any private or public property and can lead to serious injuries. Homeowners may have above-ground or in-ground pools located on their property. Many towns also have public pools at places like parks, schools, and summer camps. Also, some commonly found places for swimming pools are privately owned hotels, motels, gyms, apartment and condominium complexes, and amusement parks. Many swimming pool injuries occur because of slippery or unsafe conditions.
Who is Held Liable for Swimming Pool Injuries? While requirements vary from state to state, public or private property owners have certain legal obligations when it comes to the condition of a swimming pool on their property, and the safety of the swimmers who are foreseeable users of that pool. Property owners’ have a duty of care requiring that they maintain their property, including swimming pools, walkways, ladders, and handrails. Property owners may also be required to post certain warnings to swimmers or provide life guards and/or other pool attendants to maintain safety. If the property owner does not follow these safety procedures and injury results, the property owner can be held responsible for those injuries.Common Swimming Pool Injuries
- Slip and fall injuries
- Broken bones
- Cuts and scrapes
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Drowning and wrongful death
- Neck and head injuries
- Brain damage
- Recreational water illness
- Water intoxication (water poisoning)
- Electric shock and electrocution
- The most common cause of a slip or a fall around the pool is excess accumulation of water, and care must be taken to dry any puddles that can easily become a safety hazard. Also, using non-slip materials on the pool deck and ladders can help prevent accidents and injuries.
- It is very easy to momentarily lose sight of a child no matter how vigilant you are, and a brief lapse in attention may be just enough time for a child to run off toward the swimming pool. The American Red Cross suggests securing the pool with appropriate barriers – for example, a fence that is at least 4-feet high with a self-closing, self-latching gate.
- The water quality and unmaintained chemical levels can become a safety hazard as well. There are all kinds of sources of microbes in the backyard pool water, and if the pool’s circulation and filtration system is not adequately maintained, the bacteria and microbes can proliferate and cause nasal, skin or urinary tract infections. Excessive levels of chemicals (such as chlorine) responsible for keeping the water clean can cause rashes or other adverse effects. Therefore, these chemicals should be used as instructed.
- The CDC warns that “just one diarrheal incident in the water can release millions of diarrhea-causing germs” and can easily make other swimmers sick. Therefore, anyone suffering from food poisoning or other temporary stomach problems should not be allowed in the pool. Take the kiddos on regular bathroom breaks, and in the case of babies, checking the diapers and changing them in an area away from the poolside.
- It is well known that most swimming pool accidents and drownings happen because of a lack of proper supervision. A responsible adult should be designated to watch swimmers, and no child should be allowed to swim alone. In addition, poor or novice swimmers should use a life jacket or floating device.
Keep your backyard pools safe this summer by applying these simple yet vital safety measures.
If you or a loved one has suffered injury after a swimming pool accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. At Kenison Law Office, we are dedicated to seeking full and fair compensation you need while dealing with your injuries. For a free initial consultation, feel free to call us at (603) 471-3550 or contact us through our website: https://www.kenisonlaw.com/