Now that the summer season has officially arrived, school is out and the temperature is rising. That means thousands of San Francisco’s children and adults alike will be looking to cool off in a swimming pool. While they do offer great relief from the summer heat, swimming pools also pose some serious dangers. In fact, a new study released earlier this year shows that swimming pool injuries are increasing by leaps and bounds.
Swimming Related Injuries
Across the nation, approximately 300 children drown every year and, according to experts, the number will likely increase in 2013. Drowning is actually the number one cause of death for children in California. For each drowning fatality, there are 11 other near-drowning accidents, many of which result in debilitating brain injury.
A study conducted by the American Journal of Emergency Medicine found that a new swimming related injury is reported every six minutes in the United States. That is an increase of approximately 13,000 injuries when compared to 1990’s swimming injury statistics.
The researchers also found additional reasons for concern:
- For children ages 7 and up, pool related injuries increased by approximately 30 percent
- Children ages 16 and under make up 60 percent of all swimming related injuries
- 87 percent of all swimming related injuries occurred in or around swimming pools
Swimming Pool Injuries on the Rise
One major reason for the increase of swimming pool injuries in California is a higher population. States like California offer a steady supply of sunshine year round. As a result, California has seen an increase in its population over the years, adding to the higher number of pool related injuries. Another explanation for the spike in swimming pool injuries is a lack of parental supervision when children play in or near pools.
From residential swimming pools to public swimming pools, the possibility of an accident is always present. While drowning is the worst outcome for a swimming pool related injury, there are many other dangerous injuries suffered by swimming pool injury victims. Many of those include:
- Strangulation from getting tangled in pool-cleaning hoses
- Suffocation when trapped in a pool cover
- Electrocution due to faulty pool equipment and hazardous pool lighting
- Spinal or neck injuries in diving accidents
- Traumatic brain injury
Out of all swimming pool related injuries, however, the most commonly reported were bruises, scrapes, cuts and broken bones resulting from slip and fall accidents. These types of injuries were most often sustained to the head, neck, and lower body. Most were likely result of falling or jumping into the shallow end of a swimming pool.
How Can You Avoid a Swimming Pool Injury?
When it comes to swimming pool accidents, the most important prevention tool is vigilance. Even if you are a skilled swimmer who grew up spending summer after summer in a swimming pool, that does not mean you can’t fall victim to an accident. The same can be said of children who spend time in swimming pools. Every parent, no matter your child’s age, should pay close and constant attention to your child when playing in or around a pool.
With so many swimming pool accidents resulting from pool equipment or plastic coverings, it is also recommended you clean the pool area every morning and evening. Another good idea is to install a locking gate around the entire pool area itself, which will control access and prevent small children from exposing themselves to unnecessary swimming pool accidents.
What Should You Do After a Swimming Pool Injury Occurs?
Speaking in legal terms, anyone who owns or manages a pool on their property can be held liable for injuries which result from their negligence in relation to the monitoring or supervising the swimming pool. What does that mean? Let’s say you are injured in a swimming pool accident on someone else’s property. If the injury occurred because the property owner failed to exercise a proper amount of care, then you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries.
For more information about San Francisco swimming pool injuries, property owner negligence or to discuss the details of your case, contact the law offices of Nelson C. Barry today. Our experienced San Francisco swimming pool injury lawyers can explain your rights to recovery and the personal injury claims process.