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Swimming Pools Pose As A Liability For Homeowners

Safety never takes a vacation. Even in the summertime and especially with children in the water.

As weather warms up, excited kids are busting out their swimsuits, snorkels and fins. Parents with pools, or anyone with a pool for that matter, need to be watchful. The law considers a backyard pool an “attractive nuisance” for a reason.

Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children between the ages of one and four, the Centers for Disease Control says. The CDC accompanies that grim number with a cruel yet objective fact. “Most drowning deaths are predictable and preventable.”

Residential pools obviously don’t use lifeguards. Common sense and a few extra mechanical precautions should keep everyone safe from a tragedy.

Kids need at least one pair of watchful – and sober – eyes while they play in the pool. There is a parental twist on the old saying that it takes a village to raise a child. “If everyone is watching the kids in the pool, no one is watching your kid in the pool.”

People with pools might want to consider extra liability insurance. The Insurance Information Institute says most homeowner policies have at least $100,000 of liability protection. With a pool, the insurance institute suggests raising that as much as $500,000. For an extra $200 or $300 a year, you will get $1 million in liability protection over and above what you have on your home, the institute says.

Swimming Pool Safety

The Red Cross and other safety experts have these suggestions for adults and kids:

  • Have your child learn to swim as early as possible.
  • Young and inexperienced swimmers should wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
  • Have a pool alarm installed that goes off if anyone enters the pool. These can also be added to doors and gates leading to the pool area.
  • Build a fence at least four feet high with a self-closing and self-latching gate.
  • Keep toys and other things enticing to little ones out of the pool.
  • Don’t use electrical equipment near the pool on wet surfaces, such as fans, CD players and radios.
  • Don’t dive into an above ground pool and check the depth of an in-ground pool before diving.
  • Keep young children within your reach in the pool.
  • Protect everyone from drain entrapment by installing a Safety Vacuum Release System that shuts off the pump if it detects a blockage. People have died stuck under water by the force of a pool’s suction power.
  • Swim in clear water.
  • Teach your children generally to stay away from pipes, drains and openings where they can be trapped.
  • Take water safety and CPR classes.
  • Stay off of the phone, iPad, or whatever and watch your children.
  • Keep drunk people out of the pool.

Additional Pool Safety Resources

The Red Cross home pool safety page has many suggestions and helpful links.

The CDC childhood injuries and prevention page contains more information about what to do about drowning and other accidents.

The Insurance Institute for Information offers advice on what kind of insurance pool owners should have.

Swimming Pool and Drowning Accident Attorneys

If you or a loved one needs legal consultation, Harris Lowry Manton has extensive experience with catastrophic injury cases. Call us toll-free at 404-961-7650 or fill out our online contact form.

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