The Family Pool and Neighborhood Kids – What are My Liabilities?

by LAGERIS BELL on May 4, 2013

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The Family Pool and Neighborhood Kids – What are My Liabilities?

Villa Estrella

Most people, in their younger years, dreamed of growing up to own a home with a swimming pool. Luckily, with several types of pools, both above and in-ground, now on the market, having a pool is more financially feasible than ever. Unfortunately, having this nice little status symbol can create a few liability risks, especially when it comes to children. This is why it’s important to understand pool safety and how to implement it.

Pool Accident Statistics

Recent statistics related to swimming pool accidents show just how big of a danger pools pose to children. In the United States, 30 percent of all unintentional deaths that occur to children between the ages of 1 and 4 are due to drowning. Of these deaths, the majority occur in residential swimming pools.

An even scarier statistic is the fact that 77 percent of children who drown are only missing for 5 minutes or less before the accident is discovered. Sadly it only takes a moment of inattention for a tragedy to happen. It’s also important to realize that these accidents don’t only occur with in-ground pools. Portable pools account for 11 percent of all private pool drownings.

Pool Safety Tips

You can avoid having a tragedy occur in your home’s swimming pool by just paying heed to these simple measures. Do them and save a life.

1. Block it: Pool fencing can greatly reduce a child’s chance of drowning in your pool.

2. Supervise it: All children—yours and visiting children—should always be supervised by a responsible adult who can swim. Don’t let an unguarded moment result in a tragedy at your home.

3. Cover it: Invest in a sturdy pool cover that encompasses your entire pool. No area should be partially open.

4. Bar it: It might be difficult, but just say “No!” to children who cannot swim.  Never allow children who cannot swim near your swimming pool.

Where Liability Lies

If you’re a homeowner and you’ve decided to install a pool, make sure your homeowner’s insurance will cover you in the event of an accident.  The insurance industry calls swimming pools “attractive nuisances.” This is a clever way of acknowledging that the mere existence of a pool will draw children like a magnet.

Any homeowner who has an attractive nuisance, such as a pool, must take steps to dissuade children from accessing the area. If they don’t, they will likely be held liable if a child is injured or worse in or around their pool. According to a personal injury attorney Atlanta residents trust, “The liable party must pay damages for injuries arising out of her tortious conduct, including the plaintiff’s medical bills, lost wages, and other economic damage.”

Investing in child-proof fencing and a sturdy pool cover, mandating strict supervision at a child’s pool party, and learning to administer CPR can minimize liability, and prevent tragedies from happening altogether. Clearly preventing a calamity is preferable to reacting to one.

A private swimming pool can be a luxury you and your neighbors can enjoy all summer long. Just be sure to invest the time and money in the proper installation of safety equipment and insurance coverage to ensure that a good time is had by all.

Author and amateur swimmer LaGeris Underwood Bell offers this article to private swimming pool aficionados who want to play it safe. A personal injury attorney Atlanta residents and homeowners can depend upon should the need arise can be found at the law offices of Stokes & Kopitsky, P.A.. They have a proven track record of assisting personal injury victims by helping them recover damages for medical expenses, lost income, and disability benefits.

 

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sackerman519/6614513501/

LAGERIS BELL

LAGERIS BELL

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