Preventing Child Drownings at Home
Based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics, about 10 people lose their life due to drowning in a non-boating related drowning incident, such as those in backyard and public swimming pools. 20% of the people in that statistic are young children under the age of 14. While this information is certainly harrowing, it is most upsetting when considering that the vast majority of child drownings in swimming pools should have been preventable.
If you have a swimming pool or are planning on taking your kids swimming, remember these tips and hints at all times:
- CPR: If there is no lifeguard present, you need to be the lifeguard, which includes knowing how to perform CPR on a child. Ideally, any adult present will be able to perform CPR in case multiple children need help or one adult is incapacitated as well. The American Red Cross often has free CPR lessons at specific locations. Visit their website for more information about classes near you.
- Fencing: No pool should be without some sort of perimeter fencing if a child lives at the home. Since it is unreasonable to expect a parent to always be able to see their young child each moment of the day, a fence is a simple way to prevent them from getting near the water of a backyard pool. Fences and gates should be locked and only adults should have the key or code.
- Cleanliness: Do not keep toys, swimming equipment, or anything that could intrigue a young child near the pool. It is believed that most infant drownings are caused by the child attempting to retrieve an item floating on the water or near the edge of the pool.
- First-aid kits: Somewhere in your backyard, you should keep a first-aid kit for use in emergencies. In addition to regular first-aid supplies, you will want to ensure there are scissors within the kit to cut away clothing, hair, or even a pool cover that has trapped a child. If possible, keep an outdoor phone near the kit so you can call 911.
- Swimming safety: If you have a pool in your backyard, you should anticipate that one day your child will want to go in it alone, despite your warnings and instructions. Arrange for swimming lessons to help your child learn how to float and swim on their own. You should also insist that anyone who is not a strong swimmer, regardless of age, wear lifejackets at all times. Floatation toys are not lifejacket substitutes.
If your child has been hurt or passed away due to a drowning incident at someone else’s pool, you can contact Williams DeClark Tuschman Co., L.P.A. Our Toledo personal injury attorneys are here to offer compassionate legal support and help you pursue compensation for your damages or loss.