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According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, thousands of drownings and other accidents occur in pools and spas across the U.S. annually. Between 2018 and 2020, an average of 371 fatal drownings and 6,400 non-fatal drownings occurred among children under 15. From 2020 through 2022, an estimated 6,300 children under five ended up in emergency rooms for treatment for non-fatal drownings. 

Although many people suffer fatal or life-threatening injuries in drownings and other accidents in and around swimming pools, pool owners and swimmers can take steps to reduce their chances of being involved in a devastating accident and premises liability lawsuit this summer. 

Swimming Pool Risks

While swimming pools can provide enjoyable summer memories and a way to beat the heat, pools pose various hazards to swimmers. Some of the top types of swimming pool accidents include:

Young children face the highest risks of becoming victims of swimming pool accidents since they often have yet to develop strong swimming skills and may not be able to recognize hazards in and around the pool. Factors that can increase the chances of a swimming pool accident include a lack of safety equipment and inadequate supervision of swimmers. 

Effective Pool Safety Measures

If you own a pool, there are some steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of an accident in or around your pool. For starters, consider installing automatic pool covers, gates, fencing, and locks to prevent unauthorized or unattended access to the pool. Gates should re-latch when closed.

Owners can also place depth markings around the pool to prevent accidents and injuries from diving or jumping into the pool’s shallow end. Owners should ensure that pool drains or other openings have covers that prevent swimmers from getting trapped or injured. Pool owners should perform regular maintenance of pool equipment. Finally, owners should clear swimming pool areas of tripping hazards and install flooring surfaces that reduce the risk of slipping when the ground gets wet as people get in and out of the pool. 

Commercial or public pool operators should also post safety instructions and warning signs to ensure proper pool use. They may also hire lifeguards to supervise swimmers and intervene if an accident or drowning occurs.

Critical Safety Tips for Swimming Pools

Pool owners and operators, swimmers, and families should familiarize themselves with safety rules and tips that can help reduce the risk of accidents or drownings, especially for younger swimmers:

  • Always have an adult supervise younger children in and around the pool. These adults should avoid distractions like reading, cell phone use, or alcohol consumption. 
  • All swimmers, including adults, should avoid swimming alone. Use the buddy system to ensure you have somebody who can help you if an accident happens.
  • Avoid running around the pool. Pool owners and operators should post “no running” signs and enforce rules against running or other horseplay.
  • Avoid swimming near pool drains, vacuums, or skimmers that can trap swimmers underwater. Take off any baggy clothing or jewelry that may get sucked into a drain, skimmer, or vacuum. 
  • Ensure that young children know how to swim before letting them in or near the pool without assistance or flotation devices.
  • Have a designated person or persons certified to perform CPR on adults and children.
  • Remove all floats, balls, and toys from the pool when not in use to prevent children from attempting to reach into the pool for them. 
  • Keep rescue equipment, such as life preservers, near the pool. 
  • Refrain from jumping or diving into shallow pools.

Contact Our Minot & Grand Forks Swimming Pool Accident Attorney Today

When you or a loved one has suffered life-altering injuries in a swimming pool accident, you may have the right to pursue financial recovery. Contact Pringle & Herigstad, P.C., today for a free, no-obligation consultation with a North Dakota swimming pool accident attorney to discuss your legal options.

Pringle & Herigstad, P.C. is committed to supporting individuals in North Dakota, including Grand Forks and Minot, as well as the surrounding areas. Our dedicated team is here to provide legal assistance and guidance to those facing the complex challenges that arise from these incidents.