In the sweltering heat of the summer, many people find it refreshing to spend time swimming in their pools. While pools provide great exercise, recreation and relaxation, accidents can occur as a result of negligence or horseplay. Homeowners have a duty to take caution in preventing accidents, or then can be held liable. Failure to exercise due care around the swimming pool can result in injury or drowning. Drowning is the second leading cause of death in children under the age of fourteen. It is important to always exercise good safety habits when you, your children or your guests are around the swimming pool.
Some safety tips for a happy and healthy summer in the pool:
- ALWAYS supervise children around and in the pool.
- Provide children with floatation devices, but do not rely solely on them.
- Make sure that floatation devices/life preservers are readily available.
- Do not allow intoxicated individuals to use the pool.
- Maintain equipment and make sure it is in good working condition.
- Make sure that any diving boards or slides are maintained properly.
- Check the PH and chlorine levels daily to ensure your pool is kept clean.
- Know CPR.
- Clear the immediate pool area of toys or anything you could trip on.
- You may also consider sending your children to swimming lessons if they will be spending time in pools, to reduce the risk of drowning.
It is a good idea to install a gate around the pool, particularly if you have small children. Even if you do not have small children, a pool is considered “an Attractive Nuisance,” meaning you may be liable if an accident occurs to a child trespasser while on your property. Under torts law, you also have a duty to warn anyone who may be entering your property as a “licensee” to repair the pool if there are any known dangers in the backyard.
In addition, you should always make sure that your pool is cleaned with the proper chemicals, and kept in a sanitary condition. Chlorine does not kill all germs immediately. In fact, in 2010, 1 in 8 public pools that were inspected were shut down due to insufficient chlorine levels. Unclean pools can lead to RWI (Recreational Water Illness). RWI can result in a number of infections that attack the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract, skin, eyes, neurological components, and wounds. Pools can also be breeding grounds for other bacterial infections caused by E. coli, Giardia, norovirus, and Shigella.
If you or a family member has been injured in a pool accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can advise you of your rights. Contact the Law Office of Georgaklis & Mallas PLLC at (718) 238-2400 or (212) 779-2400.