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Drowning is a Leading Killer of Young Children During Pool Season

There is nothing more tragic than hearing or reading in the news about a child drowning, especially when so many of these deaths are preventable. Owners of swimming pools or spas can install and maintain certain safety equipment thus saving the lives of those young children who are most at risk for drowning.

In states like Texas where weather is hot and swimming is common, drowning incidents are high. In 2011, there were 90 child drownings, up from 78 in 2010 according to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. For both years, the most drowning deaths were between May and July, involved children under the age of three and occurred in swimming pools. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of death for children under five.

The majority of young child drownings occur in in-ground pools on residential properties, which often lack appropriate safety measures. Pools should have sturdy fencing and locked gates that are well maintained so unintended child access is limited. Constant supervision by parents, childcare providers or lifeguards can also help to reduce the incidence of drowning deaths among young kids. At a minimum, children should also be provided basic swimming instruction.

Sometimes, even when all safety considerations are present, drownings still occur because of the negligent actions by pool property owners or makers of pool products.

Property owners who fail to take reasonable care to prevent a drowning, for example by not fencing a pool area, may be legally liable for a wrongful death. The negligent actions of other people, like a lack of supervision by lifeguards or poor installation of pool equipment, may also lead to legal liability. When the pool itself or any related equipment, fencing, locks or other safety products are defective, the manufacturers of these products could be liable for resulting injuries or deaths.

Source: Consumer Product Safety Division, “PoolSafely: Drowning Is Leading Cause of Child Deaths,” May 24, 2012