Pools and spas can be an excellent way to relax in the summer time. Unfortunately they are also the cause of many deaths and accidents among children, as well as adults. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that 202 children under the age of 14 died in pool or spa accidents between Memorial Day and Labor Day 2013. Despite these tragic numbers, it is possible to keep family members, especially children, safe near swimming pools.
Public Pools Have Strict Safety Standards to Avoid Accidents
The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (“VGB P&SS Act”) became effective as Federal Law on December 19, 2008. The VGB P&SS Act was named for Virginia Graeme Baker, a young girl who died in a tragic accident when she was sucked into a faulty drain cover and drowned. Tragedies such as Virginia’s happen when clothing, hair, or jewelry get stuck in pool or spa drains and the victim is unable to escape. The VGB P&SS Act requires that all public pools and spas have compliant drain covers and anti-entrapment devices which then help prevent drain suction accidents. These rules set forth by Congress include requiring pools to have drain systems that reverse suction if a blockage is detected, a system that automatically shuts off pumps, or drain disablement. The parties who administer public pools are able to apply for federal grants in order to upgrade their systems and meet these important safety standards. There is also an online course and other resources to help educate pool managers.Do not be afraid to call your City Hall to ensure that the public pools your family visits are up to standards.
If you know of someone who was injured in this type of accident, there may be liability, or responsibility, on the owner of the pool for failing to protect against this type of known accident.
Protecting Against Swimming Pool Accidents
Besides verifying the safety of public pools, there are other ways you can protect your children from pool or spa accidents. Most importantly is supervision. Always soberly supervise children when they are in the water. If you have a pool or spa in your yard, invest in a pool cover or fence of sufficient height to prevent young ones from falling in the water. These additions may even help lower the cost of premiums on home insurance. Research various kinds of alarms that alert if something has fallen into the water. Examples include water-activated wristbands, floating safety buoys , or installable pool alarms . Other methods of helping ensure the safety of your children in pools is to enroll them in swimming lessons. Check and see if there are free or low-cost options in your area through the YMCA or other local organizations.
Call An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one is unfortunately in a pool or spa accident accident, call an experienced personal injury and negligence attorney. Neil Burns has been representing families of victims of accidents since 1985. There is always a free initial consultation and there is no fee until we win.