Preventing Swimming Pool Accidents in Pennsylvania: Let Our Bethlehem Accident Attorney Help

September 30, 2020

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • From 2005-2014, there was an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the U.S. or about ten deaths per day.
  • About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.
  • More than 50% of drowning victims treated in emergency departments require hospitalization or transfer for further care, compared with a hospitalization rate of about 6% for all unintentional injuries. These nonfatal drowning injuries can cause severe brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning; in other words, permanent vegetative state.
  • Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the U.S.

If you have been involved in a swimming pool accident or other water-related accident in Pennsylvania, let a Bethlehem accident attorney help.

Common Causes of Swimming Pool Accidents

Swimming pool accidents are particularly tragic because they most often involve children and are preventable., leaving grieving parents with a lifetime of guilt. The most common causes of swimming pool accidents include:

  • Lack of Adequate Supervision. Lack of supervision is the most common cause of swimming pool accidents, especially when children are involved. If there is no lifeguard, or if a lifeguard is not properly trained, the chance of an accident increases dramatically. It is critical to keep a watchful eye on children near swimming pools since these accidents can occur in just five minutes, according to CDC estimations.
  • Defective Equipment. Defective equipment can cause serious and sudden accidents resulting in physical injury or death. It is critical to properly maintain diving boards and ladders in good working condition. All pools must have anti-entrapment devices to prevent swimmers’ clothing, hair, or limbs from getting caught in a drain, according to federal law. Missing or defective anti-entrapment devices are responsible for many fatal accidents.
  • Intoxication. About 70% of water recreation deaths involve alcohol, according to the CDC.

Tips for Preventing Swimming Pool Accidents

Swimming pool accidents can be avoided. Some important safety tips include:

  • Supervise Children. A responsible adult should be watching children without distractions like reading or chatting at all times. Ideally, the adult supervising should always be in reach of the child.
  • Knowledge of CPR. Having CPR skills saves lives, period. People may die in the time it takes for the paramedics to arrive.
  • The Buddy System. Even adults who are strong swimmers can have an accident at the pool, so it is never safe to go to a pool alone, especially when alcohol is involved. 
  • Toy-Free Zone. If a pool toy is not being used, it should be kept far from the pool deck.
  • Toys Are Not Safety Devices. Use an actual safety device rather than a toy for floatation. 
  • Never Dive Into Shallow Water. Any depth that is less than six feet is too shallow to dive.
  • Pool Out During Thunderstorms. If you hear thunder or see lightning, you should be out of the water for at least 30 minutes.
  • Avoid Alcohol. As noted above, swimming while intoxicated can be as dangerous as drunk driving.
  • Know Your Limits. Exhaustion, dehydration, and pool tricks like flips or “chicken” can all lead to serious pool accidents. Know your abilities and limits.
  • Fencing and Gates. These are required and essential.

Contact a Bethlehem Accident Attorney for More Information

Swimming pool accidents are common, yet preventable. If you have been injured in a swimming pool accident, contact a Bethlehem accident attorney at Drake, Hileman & Davis for assistance. They are familiar with the law and will help you examine your options and file any legal claims necessary.

Contact us for further information and to schedule your free consultation.