With the gradually warming weather comes an increase in outdoor activities for both adults and children. It is therefore very important that property owners – particularly those with a swimming pool –take precautions to prevent injury.
Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Among children between the ages of one and four, most drowning incidents occur in home swimming pools.
Both public and private swimming pool owners have a duty to maintain a reasonably safe environment for anticipated use. When they fail to uphold that duty, property owners may potentially be held liable for injuries that happen in or around the pool.
Some states follow the attractive nuisance doctrine, which states that owners are responsible for preventing pool accidents involving young children who may not appreciate the danger of drowning – even when those children are trespassing. This includes a duty to prevent and discourage access to the pool. The CDC offers a few recommendations to improve pool safety at home:
- Install a four-sided isolation fence, which separates the pool area from the house and yard. The height of the fence should be at least four feet and contain self-closing and self-latching gates that open outward. These fences reduce a child’s risk of drowning by 83 percent when compared to three-sided property-line fencing.
- Clear the pool and surrounding area of toys to discourage children from entering the pool area unsupervised.
Further, property owners can prevent pool accidents by replacing damaged ladders and equipment and warning swimmers about dangers that may not be obvious – such as hidden obstructions that make the pool too shallow for diving.
People can be killed or permanently injured when a property owner is negligent in maintaining safety in and around the pool. If you or a loved one suffered a slip and fall injury or worse around a swimming pool, we can help. Contact the New Jersey and Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at Anapol Weiss for assistance today.