Have you or someone you know lost a child to a swimming pool drowning? Was it a case of negligence on the part of the pool owner? California swimming pool laws require certain fencing, gates, signage, and pool-rule postings. Unfortunately, the owners of swimming pools found in apartment complexes, public recreation facilities, and even private homes often fail to comply with such rules for financial reasons. Reporting such negligence to the proper Orange County, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino or Riverside Counties is crucial to child drowning prevention.
Children have the greatest risk of drowning. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, in 2007, of all the children between the ages of 1 and 4 who died from an unintentional injury, almost 30% died from drowning. Fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children between the ages of 1 and 14 years. More than one in five drowning victims are children 14 years old and younger.
If a child survives after drowning, the child’s injuries may have a life-long impact on his or her health. For every child who dies from drowning, another four received emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries. Nonfatal drowning can cause brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities, including memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning (e.g., permanent vegetative state).
Child swimming pool drowning can happen in your neighborhood. Recently, a young Orange County mother went to visit a friend who lived in an apartment complex. The manager of the apartments had neglected to maintain the fence surrounding the community pool. As the complex was gated, many parents allowed their children to roam freely around the grounds. While the mother chatted the afternoon away with her friend, her four year old crawled through a hole in the dilapidated fence and drowned in the swimming pool. Had someone in the complex practiced child drowning prevention and notified the Orange County authorities, this tragedy could have been avoided.
Do your part to protect our children: participate in child drowning prevention. If you notice a pool without a fence or with a damaged fence, contact the proper Orange County, Los Angeles County, or San Bernardino or Riverside County authorities. Check to verify that gates, signage, and pool-rule postings are intact. If the authorities are slow to respond, contact a California drowning lawyer to inspect the area, write letters to the owners and managers of the pool, and even to ensure that the authorities address the dangerous situation promptly.
As summer is on us and children are more likely visit swimming pools, participate in child drowning prevention. James Ballidis is a California lawyer and the author of several books on managing claims. If you want a free inspection of your premises, call his office and arrange a review date at no cost. One less child injured or killed is more than worth the quick yet effective inspection of the premises. Saving a child’s life may be just a phone call away.