Swimming pool drowning is a leading cause of death for young children ages 0-4 years old. Second only to auto accidents, it is a leading cause of death to all children under the age of 14. For every single child of any age that dies from a swimming pool drowning, ten more are treated for non-fatal submersion injuries with four requiring hospitalization according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Non-fatal submersion injury can result in brain damage from oxygen deprivation that often leads to long term disability. This disability may be permanent loss of motor skills, memory loss and learning difficulties.
Drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional death to people of all ages, but the highest risk group is, by far, children, ages one to four. This is followed by seniors over the age of 84. The lowest at risk are adults between 25 and 54.
Southern California Leads the Nation in Swimming Pool Drowning
Southern California leads every other region in the country in drowning accidents. There are three reasons for this high rate of submersion injuries and deaths. The first is the fact that Southern California is a year-round swimming pool region. The second is that there are so many swimming pools. California has over 1.1 million backyard swimming pools with the LA basin alone having over 43,000, per a private survey. In addition, there are innumerable public, apartment, hotel, motel and private (club) pools throughout the state. The third reason, for the high rate of drowning, is the fact that a large percentage of residential pools in Florida are only a few feet from the back door of homes, making them a danger to small children, who, without proper security, can quickly slip out the door and fall in.
Factors that Contribute to Swimming Pool Drowning:
· Lack of swimming ability
· Unsecured pool areas with lack of fencing, unlocked gates, absence of pool covers.
· Lack of qualified supervision
· Inattentive supervision
· Failure to use floatation devices and life jackets especially for young children
· Alcohol use
· Defective or hazardous circulation and filtering equipment
Who is Responsible?
It is the responsibility of every pool owner to provide adequate safety measures for everyone and be sure of proper supervision of children in and around pools. When not supervised, pools must be locked and inaccessible to children. A pool owner can be held liable for death or injuries to children who drown in an unprotected pool. Equipment must be to code to prevent entrapment from suction drains and filtering systems. Pool construction companies can be held liable for injuries and deaths caused by faulty or improper equipment as can pool equipment manufacturers.
There are approximately 3,300 drowning deaths per year, according to a report by the CDC. That equates to an alarming 10 deaths per day nationwide. One in five of the drowning deaths involve a child. Tragically, almost all drowning deaths in swimming pools are the result of negligence and are preventable.
A child or adult who suffered a non-fatal submersion injury may not display symptoms for months or even years after the accident. It is imperative that a timely filing of a case follows the accident to ensure that there will be available funds for the future recovery and rehabilitation of the pool accident victim. Following the tragedy of losing a child, filing a suit may not seem proper to the grieving parent. One cannot place a value on the life of a loved one, however those steps are critical in preventing a drowning recurrence to another child. Many causes have arisen through settlements obtained in wrongful death cases.
Striving for Swimming Pool Safety
At Vititoe Law Group we strive to make California a safe place for recreation without the risk of injury or death. Educating residents and visitors in swimming pool safety is our commitment. We also will fight vehemently to hold pool equipment manufacturers and pool construction companies accountable in cases of defective, improper and unsafe swimming pool equipment.
If your loved one was injured or perished in a swimming pool drowning accident, contact the Vititoe Law Group and speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. You may be entitled to compensation. The pool may have been improperly supervised by the pool owner or life guard. The filtration equipment may have been hazardous, outdated and not up to safety codes. The pool may have been left unsecured and unattended. There are many facets of negligence that may exist in pool drowning accidents. However, swimming pool accidents are almost always preventable and caused, at least in part, by negligence. Call Vititoe Law Group today and speak with a swimming pool accident attorney. There is no upfront cost or obligation for an expert evaluation of your case. Do not hesitate as time can make the facts more difficult to ascertain.