With the onset of warm weather, swimming pools will be a favorite destination for families. All adults know how important it is to keep careful watch over children who are enjoying the water. Still, drownings occur, as well as extremely serious injuries, some of them due to circumstances you would not necessarily expect.
It only takes two or three seconds for a child to disappear beneath the surface of the water. It can happen when some small thing distracts you for the merest instant, and in that brief amount of time, tragedy might occur. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about ten people die from drowning every day in the United States. In fact, among the leading causes of unintentional injury deaths, drowning ranks fifth.
More than half of the victims who suffer non-fatal submersion injuries and are treated in the emergency room have to be hospitalized, as compared to about six percent for all unintentional injuries combined. Some of these non-fatal drowning injuries may cause severe brain damage. The results might be learning disabilities, memory issues or a permanent vegetative state.
Virginia Graeme Baker, the granddaughter of former Secretary of State James Baker, died following a drain suction entrapment incident. Named in her honor, a law enacted in 2007 requires that anti-entrapment devices, including gravity draining and suction limiting vent systems, be present in all commercial pools and spas. The purpose of the law is to prevent entrapment under water, where the strong circulation in and around a drain might catch the hair or body parts of swimmers. Parents should ask pool owners if anti-entrapment drain covers are in place.
Pool injuries can be catastrophic; drownings can devastate a family. If you face either a loved one’s death or the serious consequences of what began as an enjoyable day at the pool, it is wise to seek legal representation. An experienced personal injury lawyer is nearby and ready to help.