Statistics show most child drownings occur in backyard swimming pools. Summer is in full swing and no doubt, your kids have hit the pool multiple times already this season. While you might think that your kids are safer swimming in your home swimming pool than at a public pool or beach, the statistics show otherwise, personal injury and pool & water accident attorneys in Jacksonville say. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, most drownings occur in backyard pools and more than 75 percent of pool and spa drowning deaths are children younger than five. Minority children are at even higher risk. Consider these statistics from the CPSC, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and USA Swimming:
- 85 percent of all fatal drownings occur at residential pools or spas;
- 50 percent of the injuries and 73 percent of the fatalities involving children younger than 15 years occurred at a residence;
- Children between the ages of 1 and 3 represent 67 percent of reported fatalities and 64 percent of injuries;
- African American children between the ages of 5 and 19 are six times more likely to drown in pools than white and Hispanic children that age;
- 70 percent of African American children and 62 percent of Hispanic children cannot swim, making them more likely to drown.
If your children are new to swimming, enroll them in a swimming and safety course offered by such groups as the YMCA or the Red Cross. Supervise your children at all times and never overestimate their swimming ability. Remember that tragic accidents can happen as quickly as you can run inside to grab a snack. Keep pathways surrounding your pool clear of clutter and toys and insist that your children walk – not run – near the pool. Require less experienced swimmers to wear life vests, no matter their age. While your kids are in the pool, make sure they stay far away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapment. Keep nearby a first aid kit; a pair of scissors to cut hair, clothing or anything else that might become trapped or entangled and hold your child under water; a flotation device; and a charged portable or cell phone to quickly call 911 in case of emergency. Know that if your child is injured while swimming at a neighbor’s or public swimming pool, you may be entitled to compensation for treatment costs and losses. Get medical treatment immediately, then contact an experienced personal injury or pool and water accident attorney with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell at 800-251-1111.