Safeguarding against swimming pool accidents

Desert pool photograph
Desert Pool by D. Ferris. All rights reserved.

Unfortunately, swimming pool accidents tend to be catastrophic. All of us are too familiar with the stories we hear about children drowning in a swimming pool. Obviously the best safeguard to prevent against this is never to allow children to be left alone and unsupervised in a pool or spa. Children should always be supervised by an adult. It makes no difference whether they can swim or not. A wrongful death accident is not uncommon if children are left unsupervised in a pool.

Another common swimming pool accident results in paralysis. This is caused by diving into a shallow swimming pool and striking the bottom of the pool with one’s head. The dive can be either off the edge of the pool or off a diving board. Diving boards should not be installed on swimming pools. The only place a diving board should be located is in a pool specifically designed for diving. Only then can one be reasonably assured the water will be deep enough. Unfortunately diving accidents tend to result in quadriplegia injuries. This occurs because ones head strikes the bottom of the pool breaking the diver’s neck and resulting in quadriplegia.

Another common injury involves the spa. Hot water and alcohol, drugs or medicines do not mix. People under medication or intoxicated should avoid the spa. Also, long exposure the hot water can cause nausea and dizziness or fainting. Elderly people and pregnant women should avoid the spa.

If a swimming pool or spa accident should occur,

Dial 911 or the emergency number posted on the signage around pool/spa area. Ask if anyone in the pool area is familiar with CPR and if so administer CPR immediately.

If an accident should occur, after medical attention has been administered, photograph the entire pool area, including all signage, safety equipment, and all gates into the pool/spa area. Pay attention to signage on the entry gates. If there are any witnesses, obtain names addresses and all contact information from them.

Attorneys Angelo & Di Monda understand the need for quick action in a pool/spa accident. The pool/spa premises should be inspected immediately to verify conformity with all state-mandated safety signage and equipment. All pool accessories such as diving boards need to be immediately photographed, measured and model numbers and manufacturer names noted. It’s critical that this inspection take place as soon as possible after a swimming pool for diving accident. Any delay in inspecting the premises may result in changes to equipment and all signage which will make it more difficult to prove any negligence on the part of the pool owner.