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Pool Accidents are Still a Concern When the Weather is Cool

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Now that the weather has cooled down, the last thing that you and your family might be thinking about is your swimming pool. After all, you might have closed down your pool for the season quite some time ago, and the cold temperatures might have you thinking more about coffee and comfort food than about swimsuits and pool toys.

However, just because you aren't using your pool right now does not mean that you should not be concerned about it. For example, pool accidents are still a concern all year long, and you do not want anyone to get hurt or for you and your family to be liability for someone's accident.

First of all, it's important to still keep your swimming pool area locked. Ideally, you should have a tall fence around your pool, and you shouldn't slack off on keeping it locked and keeping up your warning signs just because your pool isn't in use right now. Someone could still fall in and get injured, even if your pool has been drained.

Secondly, you should make sure that any kids who are playing on your property are fully supervised and are aware of the importance of staying away from the pool area. After all, just because you aren't thinking about swimming right now does not mean that a neighbor's child or one of your children's friends might not get excited at the sight of the pool and try to dive in. Supervision around the pool is important all year long, including when the pool is closed.

By taking these steps seriously, you can help prevent anyone from being injured, and you can also protect yourself from a potentially expensive lawsuit, too.

If you happen to find yourself in need of a personal injury lawyer, contact us at Freeman & Freeman today.

Keep Children Safe In Backyard Pools

Friday, May 20, 2016

Any homeowner with a pool should be concerned about the potential of a drowning. If you have children, or children live in the neighborhood, it important to take steps to prevent the chance of a pool accident or drowning injury. Implement the following tips to keep children safe in your backyard pool.

Limit Access and Desire

Install a fence that surrounds your pool completely. Keep the deck clear of toys, such as balls. Your goal is to make it impossible for a child to enter the pool area without the assistance of an adult. Therefore, a fence is necessary. You also want to dissuade anyone from attempting to retrieve a toy from inside the pool area. Kids may try to climb over the fence because they want to play with the ball. Keep toys out of sight so they don't entice children to enter the pool area unattended.

Understand Safety Devices

If your children, or the children in the neighborhood, have not had formal swimming lessons, they may not be safe in the water. Don't make the mistake of offering them a pool noodle or other inflatable device as a safety measure. Air-filled and foam toys are not safety devices, they are toys. Life jackets are the only thing designed to keep non-swimmers safe.

Provide Constant Supervision

An adult needs to supervise every minute a child is in the pool. This is true even if the child is wearing a life jacket. Adult supervision is mandatory to prevent a drowning or near-drowning. Life jackets help but don't always prevent a drowning since the face can still go in the water with the life jacket on. The adult providing the supervision should not be reading a book or talking on the phone or doing anything else. If the child is young, or can't swim, the adult should stay within reach at all times.

Monitor Weather Conditions

A homeowner is responsible for monitoring the weather conditions and acting accordingly. If thunder is heard or lightning observed, everyone must get out of the pool and stay out of the pool for 30 minutes. The timer restarts for each subsequent thunder or lightning until the storm has completely passed.

Take the above steps to reduce the risk of a pool accident or drowning injury this summer. For additional information, contact us.

Own a Pool? Follow These Steps to Protect Yourself Against Pool Injuries and Drowning Accidents on Your Property

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Enjoying your backyard swimming pool with friends and family members on a hot summer afternoon can be a welcome way to beat the heat, but nothing can make a pool owner's blood run cold like the thought of a serious pool injury or drowning accident occurring on his property. If you are a pool owner, there are important steps you can take to lessen the likelihood of a tragedy occurring in your own backyard oasis.

Check the Equipment

One of the best ways to prevent a swimming accident is to make sure all your equipment is in good working order. While the drain of a pool or spa may seem harmless enough, many drain cover of older pools and spas were designed in such a way that the entire flat cover could be completely blocked by a human torso. If completely blocked, the amount of suction could potentially be strong enough to hold a victim on the bottom of the pool. Newer anti-entrapment covers are required in public swimming pools. Unfortunately, many private pools still have not been retrofitted with a new, safer drain. If you have concerns about the safety of the drain in your pool or spa, contact a professional to have the drain checked and, if necessary, fitted with a new cover.

Additionally, keep lifesaving floatation devices and rescue poles in plain sight and easily accessible. If you do not own these important pieces of safety equipment, make it a priority to obtain them today.

Secure Your Pool

A fence is a basic deterrent. While it is likely that any determined person will be able to access your swimming area, a fence around your pool can send a powerful message for others to stay away, and the presence of a fence, or lack thereof, can affect your liability if a tragedy should occur on you property. Your fence should be at least four feet high, and gates should be both self-closing and self-latching. To prevent a determined child from pushing the gate open, gates should always swing out, away from the swimming area.

Educate Yourself And Others

Of course, one of the best ways to prevent a swimming injury or accidental drowning is to educate yourself and others regarding water safety. Post your poolside rules in a prominent place. Follow them, and insist that guests do the same. Educate yourself in the basics of CPR so you will be able to react quickly, calmly, and with confidence if an accident should occur.

Keeping your pool in good working order, and following proper safety procedures can help ensure that your pool remains an asset, and not a liability. If an accident has occurred on your property, and you are concerned with your legal rights, our staff is standing by to help. Don't hesitate to contact us today!

Avoid This Dangerous Pool Trick This Summer

Sunday, May 03, 2015

You’ve probably done it yourself at least once. However, that old stunt of holding your breath underwater just to see how long you can do so, could actually be more dangerous than you think. In 2011, two men in the city of New York held their breath underwater, and drowned.

In fact, that kind of situation is not very unusual, and according to health officials, such accidents are not restricted to children either. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were at least 16 cases in which people engaged in a breath-holding exercise under water in a pool, and of these, four people drowned. The deaths involved people between the ages 17 and 22, and in all the cases, the men were excellent swimmers.

Hyperventilation, or the act of stopping your breath before you go underwater is at the crux of the danger here. According to experts, when you hold your breath like this, the carbon dioxide in your body is expelled from the body, and that in turn inhibits brain signals that would have otherwise urged you to breathe. In a situation like this, you might believe that you are capable of holding your breath for much longer than you're capable of doing. When trouble strikes, a person may not even be prepared for it. The person may suddenly blackout, and the blackout is caused by the sudden fall in oxygen pressure in arterial blood.

This summer, if you are out at a pool with friends, prevent friends from engaging in such behavior. In most cases, these drownings, are very silent and deadly, and there may be no splashing about or other signs as the person blacks out and sinks to the floor.

Prolonged Resuscitation Efforts Do Not Benefit Child Drowning Victims

Sunday, February 01, 2015

In just a few couple of months from now, the temperatures will rise in California, and the year’s peak swimming season will begin. Every year, children constitute some of the most frequent victims of drowning accidents across the United States. New research seems to indicate that the current guidelines that call for prolonged resuscitation of children who have suffered a drowning incident, may actually not be beneficial to children at all.

The study was conducted by Dutch researchers, who say that their study points to a lack of any benefit in prolonged resuscitation efforts, for children beyond 30 minutes. They found that when resuscitation efforts were continued in children, who had drowned, and had suffered a heart attack, or suffered a significant drop in their body temperature in a condition known as hypothermia, the prolonged resuscitation did not have any benefit at all, and 87% of the children died after the incident. Out of the remaining children, many were left in a vegetative state as a result of the brain damage.

There is much that you can do to help reduce the risk of a child drowning in your swimming pool. Most child-related drowning incidents occur in residential swimming pools, when parents and caregivers take their eyes away from the child for just a few seconds. Make sure that children are not around any pool unsupervised. An adult supervisor must be present at all times. Avoid being distracted while you're by the pool. You are not going to be of any help if you're by the pool, and texting on your cell phone while children are in the pool.

Understand that a child who is drowning will not make a lot of attention, or splash about. Drowning is very often a very silent killer. It takes just a few seconds for a child to slip below the surface and either die, or suffer long-term brain damage.

If a loved one has suffered injuries in a drowning accident in a swimming pool, or hot tub, speak to a premises liability lawyer in Burbank.

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From our offices in Woodland Hills, California, Freeman & Freeman, LLP, provides legal advice and representation for clients in communities throughout the state, including those in Burbank, Glendale, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Tarzana, Santa Clarita, Agoura Hills, Reseda, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Northridge, Granada Hills, Pacoima, Panorama City, North Hollywood, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Lancaster, Palmdale and Alhambra.