The California Swimming Pool Safety Act establishes rules for securing swimming pools to prevent drowning accidents. Swimming pools are considered an attractive nuisance, which means they can entice children or trespassers onto a property and can be dangerous to those trespassers. Because of the significant risk, a pool presents to children, homeowners and other property owners with pools must ensure they are following all safety regulations and taking appropriate precautions to prevent injuries to young people.
Risks of Child Injuries in Unsecured Swimming Pools in Long Beach
The Consumer Product Safety Commission warns of the dangers faced by young children due to swimming pools. An average of almost 400 children aged 15 and under die of drowning in swimming pools annually. Seventy-five percent of children who drown are under the age of five. The demographic groups most likely to drown include African American children age five to 19 and all children age one to three.
Only a small portion of children die from drowning. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports: “For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.” Children who are deprived of oxygen but who do not die from drowning may sustain permanent brain damage, resulting in life-long cognitive impairments.
Children may also sustain other injuries in unsecured swimming pools besides submersion injuries. For example, a child who attempts to dive into a pool may strike his or her head or body on the pool deck or bottom of the pool. This could result in a traumatic brain injury, neck or spinal cord injury, and broken bones.
Homeowners Responsibility for Child Injuries in Unsecured Swimming Pools in Long Beach
The California Swimming Pool Safety Act mandates pool owners with pools constructed after January 1, 2007 have at least one of seven listed safety features to prevent children from unsupervised access to swimming pools. The listed safety features include:
- Isolation of the pool from the home in a separate pool enclosure
- Removable mesh pool fencing surrounding the pool, which is self-latching and lockable
- An approved safety pool cover
- Exit alarms on all doors leading to the pool area from the home
- A self-closing self-latching device at least 54 inches off the ground on all exit doors from the home leading to the pool
- A swimming pool alarm that sounds an alert upon unauthorized access to the water
- Other means of protection for children that provide at least as much protection as specific listed safety features
These guidelines are designed to ensure children are not able to access pools without an adult being aware. There are also additional details included in the Swimming Pool Safety Act about the type of enclosure that must surround a pool.
If a homeowner violates any safety precautions and/or otherwise is negligent in a manner that allows a child access to a swimming pool, the homeowner can be held responsible for resulting child injuries or fatalities due to drowning. It is not generally a defense to claim a child was trespassing on property if a child sustains injuries in a pool.
Contact a Swimming Pool Accident Attorney in Long Beach, CA for a Free Consultation
Let a Long Beach swimming pool accident lawyer help to seek compensation from a homeowner responsible for child injuries in unsecured swimming pools. Call the Law Office of Michael D. Waks at (888) 394-1174 or use the convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation. You are under no obligation and you will never pay any money unless you recover damages for your injuries.
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