Warm weather, sunshine, and outdoor pool time – sounds wonderful and innocent like childhood should be, right?
For one family I met, though, the backyard pool was covered with vines. It was a horrible, daily reminder of the tragic drowning loss of their three-year old daughter. As a guest at their home, I could barely bring myself to look at it either!
It is surprising to learn, though, that “drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in children ages 1-4,” according to Pool Safely.
Let’s ask an important question here. What if that drowned child was your neighbor’s kid swimming in YOUR backyard pool?
A drowning tragedy is something you never want to experience in your family or your friends and neighbor’s families. The consequences could spiral – broken relationships and possible personal injury lawsuits being among them. Even a bad slip and fall injury at your family’s pool could really dampen the summer fun.
So here are a few basic “hello, there” reminders to help avoid injury or even death this summer. They may seem obvious, but sometimes the simplest steps are the best.
1) NEVER let children swim alone.
Truth! It’s not even a great idea for teens or adults to swim solo, but we do. Imagine the sick feeling we had when we learned a friend’s son drowned while swimming alone in the ocean! We like to think we’re invincible. In fact, life is so fragile.
Children should always swim with a responsible older person. Make sure that person knows they are the designated child watcher, too.
2) FENCE, GATE, AND LOCK your pool.
If you can afford to maintain a pool, you can afford a fence with a gate and some sort of lock. Some districts require this of homeowners. You will never be sorry you had these safety measures in place.
We’ve all heard the tales of neighbor kids sneaking into a pool while the family was gone. It’s just too big of a temptation to resist for some kids! Hang a “NO Trespassing” sign, too, just to cover all your bases. You really do not want be held liable or start a neighborhood feud.
3) Make sure your kids know how to swim!
Our family doesn’t own a pool. We’ve been kindly invited to spend time at a neighbor’s pool each summer. I always accept! Why? Teaching my child how to swim was on my top 10 life-skills list. It took multiple summers, but I’m the proud momma of an official swimmer now. The drowning risk is lessened!
4) Ban running around the pool perimeter. Really?
Think wet pavement. Think slip and fall accident. Think concussion, broken bones, or stitches. If you have a pool brimming with kids, you need some basic sanity rules. This is just one of a handful of rules you need.
5) Check/Install anti-entrapment drain covers AND cover your pool when not in use.
Kids and kittens do the craziest stunts! Just add water to create more drama. Extra precautions are more than wise. You may even save a life!
At The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC , we can help if you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident. Attorney Steimel is an experienced personal injury lawyer. Call for a free initial consultation at (636)244-3737
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