Swim Safe

Summer is here and we begin to hear stories of parents’ worst nightmares coming true:  a child drowns in a swimming pool.

You’ve heard the stories.  You can be watching your child and turn away for just a few seconds.  That’s all it takes.

A startling statistic:  10 people drown every day in the United States. In fact, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death for children under the age of 14.  Sadly, many of these deaths could have been prevented. 

There have already been too many of these tragedies across our state early in this 2015 swimming season, including the devastating story of twin toddlers who drowned in a neighbor’s pool in Aurora, Indiana.

The Indiana Department of Child Services reveals a disturbing trend when it comes to children drowning in pools, bathtubs, ponds and other bodies of water due to lack of supervision.   The report said 14 children died from drowning in State Fiscal Year 2013 and that drowning is the primary contributor in child neglect deaths in Indiana.

One thing that parents can do to help protect their children from drowning is to have your child learn how to swim. There are many free swimming lesson programs available through local parks departments, the Red Cross, and the YMCA.

Additionally, parents should avoid engaging in any distracting activities while supervising children swimming or playing in or near water, according to a news release from National Water Safety Month.

If you own a pool, realize that you can be held liable for injury or death of an individual in or around your pool. “Install barriers such as fencing, self-locking gates and pool alarms on backyard pools to prevent access by children,” the release goes on to say.

Many water related deaths and injuries are caused by the irresponsibility of a swimming pool owner or the operator of other swimming areas.  Many of these situations occur when no one is even using the pool. Many times, a child can wander into the pool area when the owner is not around.

While laws vary from state-to-state, it is generally required that a fence and a lockable gate be present to prevent unauthorized entry.

Even if you have a sign that says something to the effect of:  “Swim at Your Own Risk,” it may not be enough to protect you from liability.

There are many other regulations that need to be followed in order to keep private and public swimming areas safe.   It is recommended that all of the requirements be carefully studied — before it is too late.

If you suspect that a member of your family or a loved one has been the victim of negligence leading to serious injury or death, contact Theodoros & Rooth.   We will carefully review your situation and if we believe you have a case, we will stand by you and fight for your rights.  There is never a fee until a settlement is reached.   Have a great summer on the water, but be safe.