Memorial Day is the official start of summer when many pools and beaches throughout Chicago and the suburbs open. While swimming pools, ponds and lakes provide a source of recreation as well as a way to escape the summer heat, they are also responsible for many injuries and, in some cases, deaths. In the past two years, more than 100 fatal drownings have occurred in Illinois; many victims are children 14 and younger. Swimming pools are the most dangerous but any open water can be hazardous; drowning can also occur in lakes, ponds, streams, and wading pools.
Injuries are common when it comes to Swimming Pools
Swimming pool accidents often involve very serious or fatal injuries. We frequently hear about the deaths, but more people are permanently injured with severe brain damage or are paralyzed. A child can drown in the time it takes to answer a telephone. It is important to be alert to the hazards of drowning, and drain entrapments and know how to prevent injuries.
What can you do as a parent?
- Read with your child the water safety rules that should be posted in a visible area for review.
- Stay close, be alert and watch your child in and around the pool, or any body of water.
- In a case of an emergency make sure you have a charged phone close by at all times.
Learning and Practicing Water Safety Skills
- Do you and your children know how to swim? You maybe able to at your local pool or park district facility.
- Be at a pool where there is a lifeguard trained and certified in first aid and emergency response.
- Understand the basics of life-saving so you can assist in a pool emergency.
These are some of the common cases that my office has seen when it comes to water related injuries.
Life Guards – Often guards are poorly trained or not paying attention to who is in the pool. Another serious problem is not having the proper number of life guards staffing a pool or beach.
Pool Drains – Some pool drains can have a very powerful suction; even swimming near them can entrap a swimmer under water.
Diving boards – Diving injuries are not uncommon and may result in spinal cord injuries and death. Many times the pool is not deep enough to have a diving board or the board supplied is too high for the pool.
Barriers and protection – At private homes and apartment buildings, children ages 1 to 4 are at serious risk for drowning in the pool. The most common accident is where a child was last seen inside the home, is missing for LESS THAN FIVE MINUTES, and is found unconscious in the pool. Many municipalities require locked fences around the pool to prevent such accidents.
If you or a loved one has suffered any injury at a swimming pool, lake, ocean, river or stream, contact The Ankin Law at 312.600.0000 to schedule an appointment with a personal injury attorney. Personal injury cases are taken on a contingency fee basis. If we accept your case, there is no fee unless we recover damages for you. We can help hold those at fault responsible for the injuries.