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Keeping Kids Safe Around the Water

Friday, July 07, 2017

When living in Los Angeles, chances are you will come in contact with a large body of water at some point during the summer. If you have kids, their safety is a priority--but what are the best methods of keeping your children safe? Don't depend on lifeguards. 

If you're in a public pool, chances are there's up to a hundred other people also in the pool. While the lifeguards are very well-trained, it's possible that they could miss a single child being in distress due to the other factors they have to focus on, from other parents asking questions to make sure that kids aren't running and diving. The best thing to do is to act as your child's personal lifeguard and accompany them. 

Make sure flotation devices are Coast Guard approved. 

While a pool noodle, kick board, or inner tube may seem like a suitable flotation device, they are not ideal. Life jackets and other devices that get buckled or tied around your child are better ways of making sure that in an emergency, they cannot escape the grip of the person in the water. This ensures that even if you step away from the pool for a minute, your child can't escape their water wings and risk drowning. 

Talk with your child about the rules of the pool. 

The best method of responding to poolside accidents is preventing them from ever occurring. Explaining the rules (don't go in the water alone, don't run on the pool deck, no diving, etc) and why they're rules is an excellent method of prevention. Explanations make it so your child understands the concept, instead of just feeling like you as the parent are laying down rules to strip away the fun from the activity. 

 If you or your child do experience a pool accident or drowning injury, contact us to set up a cost-free consultation to determine the legalities connected to the incident and what we can do for you. 

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!


Drowning Fatalities down, but Concerns Still Remain

Thursday, April 10, 2014

According to new federal data released just in time for the summer swimming season, the numbers of drowning fatalities across the country are down, except in some categories. According to the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overall drowning fatality rates have dropped by 9%. However, when it came to the 45-84 age category, fatalities actually increased by 9.7%.

Overall, the highest risk of fatality still involved children below the age of five, and adults above the age of 85. These are some of the most vulnerable categories when it comes to drowning fatalities, and the statistics in these categories are not encouraging. The findings involve data from between 1999 and 2010. During this period of time, there were more than 46,000 fatalities across the country from unintentional drowning, including people killed in boating accidents.

Over this period of time, the biggest increase in fatalities involved people between the age of 45 and 84. The category of people between the age of five and 19 was found to be the least likely to die in a drowning accident, probably because these persons in most cases had already learned how to swim. The risk seems to be the highest in children below the age of four, and the researchers believe that this is either due to lack of supervision, or due to lack of swimming skills. As the summer swimming season begins, parents must be on high alert.

The analysis does throw up some interesting facts. For instance, the researchers knew that they would find a much higher risk of fatalities over weekends, but they were not expecting the level of increased risk. The number of fatalities was roughly 40% higher on weekends, compared to weekdays. Females were much more likely to drown in a tub, pool or natural location, with an equal amount of risk in all these locations. However, males were much more likely to drown in a natural water setting, like a lake or pond.


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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.