With children out of school for the summer and people vacationing in Florida, swimming at this time of year is especially enjoyable. However, swimming can also be a dangerous activity.
Federal statistics show that drowning is the second highest cause of unintentional injury-related fatalities for those between the ages of one to 14. Moreover, for each child that loses his or her life in a drowning accident, four more are sent to the emergency room for drowning injuries that, fortunately, are not fatal. And, while sometimes drowning accidents are just that -- unpreventable events that are no one's fault -- sometimes a person drowns due to negligence.
For example, a swimming pool could have a slippery deck, ladder or stairs. Defective electrical components could also lead to injuries. And, while there are laws and codes regarding swimming pool design and maintenance, this does not always prevent injuries and fatalities. Also, hotel pools and pools at someone's private home generally do not have lifeguards.
It is important for swimming pool owners, whether it is someone's backyard pool, a hotel pool or a public pool, to ensure their pools are safe for swimmers of all ages. Oftentimes, there must be a fence surrounding the pool, to avoid having people using the pool when the pool is closed and to keep children away from a pool when they may be unattended. Pools must be designed and maintained in a manner that will prevent people from slipping and falling and to prevent people from becoming entrapped underwater. Also, if a pool does not have proper safety devices or oversight, it could lead to a drowning injury or fatality.
While many drowning victims are children, people of all ages could drown in an improperly maintained swimming pool. Drowning injuries can be very serious, in some cases causing permanent damage. If a person is injured or killed due to drowning in a swimming pool, it is important to determine if the owner of the pool was negligent in their duty to keep their premises safe. Such situations could lead to premises liability litigation.