Swimming Pool Injuries
Swimming pools can provide endless hours of good fun and great exercise. Nonetheless, even as we splash, play and swim, we should never forget that pools are inherently dangerous. According to the CDC, ten people die each day due to accidental drownings. Of these, two are children under the age of 14. In addition, for every child who dies from drowning, another five are rushed to the emergency room for nonfatal submersion injuries.
While not all of the daily drownings in the U.S. occur in swimming pools, many do. Children between the ages of 1 and 4 have the highest drowning rates and most of these drownings are likely to occur in home swimming pools.
No matter whether a swimming pool is public or private, the person or entity responsible for the pool must ensure that adequate safety measures are taken. The consequences of failing in this duty are heartbreaking.
Types of swimming pool-related injuries
Drowning is the swimming pool-related injury that people tend to fear the most. But devastating nonfatal injuries are even more common than drowning. These include:
- Diving injuries. A person diving into shallow water is at great risk of hitting the hard bottom or side of the pool and suffering traumatic brain damage, spinal cord injuries or broken bones from the impact.
- Drain injuries. Many people don’t realize that small children can easily get sucked into and trapped by the pool’s drain. This can not only cause drowning but may cause traumatic bowel injury. In many cases, children trapped by drains suffer life-long intestinal problems, including trouble eating, drinking, eliminating bodily waste, and being at great risk of bacterial infection.
- Submission injuries. If a drowning person is successfully resuscitated, she or he may still suffer serious and permanent brain damage due to being oxygen deprived. Such brain damage can affect the victim’s cognitive ability and motor and language skills.
- Slip and Falls. Water splashed outside of the pool creates a slippery surface. Slip and falls that occur around the pool area can give rise to broken bones, head injuries, and lacerations.
Causes of swimming pool injuries
- Inadequate supervision. Whenever children are swimming, there should be adult supervision in numbers commensurate to the number of children present. The adults should not be drinking alcohol or distracted by other means while supervising the kids. A child can drown in less than 5 minutes in less than 2 inches of water.
- Inadequate fence/barrier around pool. A fence or another barrier should be erected around pools to keep out unintended users, such as strangers or children. The barrier should be in good condition and free of design flaws that could allow an unintended person to access the pool.
- Faulty swimming pool/drain design or construction. A poorly designed or constructed swimming pool or drain can also give rise to serious injuries. Swimming pool manufacturers and installers have a duty to use reasonable care when designing or installing their products.
- Horseplay, running and showboating. Negligent or reckless behavior in or around the pool can cause drowning or other catastrophic injuries. The person or entity responsible for the pool should make clear that such behavior is dangerous and will not be tolerated.
- Pool toys and/or equipment malfunction. Pool toys and equipment are fun but they can cause great damage and injuries if they fail to work properly.
When to contact a Massachusetts swimming pool accident lawyer
If you have suffered a swimming pool-related injury, or someone you love has died or been injured in a swimming pool accident, contact a Massachusetts swimming pool accident lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can help you determine whether the accident was avoidable, and if so, who should be held responsible. If your case is successful, you could receive compensation for medical bills, lost earnings and pain and suffering associated with the accident.
Peter Ventura is a personal injury lawyer dedicated to helping people in the Massachusetts area recover compensation for swimming pool-related accidents and injuries. Call for a free consultation today at 508-755-7535.