During the summer of Coronavirus, Texans have been spending more time at home rather than out and about. While many people believe this can only make their families safer by staying home, away from car accidents and other instances of danger, when in reality, there is a hidden force working against the safety of those homeowners who have pools in their backyards.
With recent reports and statistics emerging, we are seeing that there has been a massive uptick in childhood drownings in the United States. The biggest culprit of these drownings: residential pools. “Residential locations make up 71% of the fatal drowning incidents” according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Nikki Fleming.
The most important age group to look after are those that fall between the ages of 1 to 4. These ages have had steadily rising cases of drownings in the United States over the course of the last 3 years. Whether it be your own child or a child who lives next door, there are many precautions a pool owner should take in order to prevent the loss of life in their backyard.
Helpful Tips For Backyard Pool Safety
1.) All pools and hot tubs should have multiple barriers to prevent tragedy
Pools and hot tubs should always have 4 wall gates surrounding the bodies of water. These gates should be of the self-closing nature and have alarms to signify when someone has entered the gates. A secondary barrier should be in place in the form of either a tension cover or a hardcover over a hot tub that is impossible for young individuals to take off without the help of their parents. Even if they were to enter the gates, and get the cover off the pool or hot tub, there should be a third alarm that goes off when the child enters the water.
Having gates alone drops the rate of accidental drownings by 50%. Having gates can help keep the neighborhood children from wandering onto your property and having access to a potentially dangerous situation with your pool. Keep not only your children safe but other adventurous children as well.
2.) All bodies of water need to be taken seriously
From a bucket of water to a shallow kiddie pool, your child is at risk for drowning in these small bodies of water regardless of the size. A bucket of water may seem very silly but small children can still get stuck in the water-filled bucket and drown without your knowledge. All buckets and inflatable kiddie pools at home should be drained every night so your children do not accidentally drown in them.
3.) Use a designated watcher when kids are in the water
While it may seem easy to just take your child to the pool in your backyard, you still have a responsibility to keep an eye on them at all times in the water. Instead of paying attention to a phone, talking to a friend who stopped by, or cooking dinner while your child swims you should be attentively watching them at all times. Whether they are in your backyard or at the beach, the potential for you to lose sight of your child for even a split second can mean the difference between life and death.
4.) Start swimming lessons early in your child’s life
Swimming lessons can have an effect on whether or not your children at young ages accidentally drown. Not every child will learn how to swim between the ages of 1 and 4 but while every child learns at their own pace it never hurts to teach them the basics at the very beginning. While your child goes through swimming lessons, it is beneficial for you to watch them get an idea as to what abilities your child has in the water. Knowing your child’s strengths and weaknesses can help you determine where they are safest in a pool and if they can handle certain difficulties like deeper water or even waves at the beach.
Regardless of how old or skilled of a swimmer your child is, being vigilant in your efforts to prevent accidental drowning is going to save lives. Anyone can still accidentally drown just as easily as the younger kids. Stay safe during this summer. With the world seemingly becoming more unsafe each day, don’t let your backyard be the cause of tragedy not only during this summer but any summer!
Texas Laws and Swimming Pools
When owning a pool in Texas, you have some responsibilities that come with the small body of water in your backyard. Premises liability laws in Texas do apply to pools and there is a specific language that discusses how to properly avoid being liable for someone’s injuries or death in your own pool. Premises liability is a set of laws that must be followed by homeowners in order to ensure their property is considered “safe” for visitors.
Texas law states there are numerous requirements for pool owners. The biggest being in correspondence with our first tip above. As noted above as the first tip, we recommend you follow Texas law by implementing a fence with self-closing and latching gates. These are just a few implementations you must have in order to coincide with the premises liability laws. However, there are more laws on the reactive end as well.
In order to be in compliance with Texas state laws, you must have a throwing rope and a non-conductive reaching pole for the pool. The law also requires a pool cover to be present as well and for pool owners to be watching any and all children at all times while they’re swimming.
If you or a loved one sustained injuries or died in someone else’s pool, your time is ticking on your ability to file a premises liability lawsuit.
Reyes Browne Reilley law firm has been practicing personal injury and premises liability law for 30 years. We have what you need to pursue your recovery for your injuries or the death of a loved one. Our attorneys operate on a contingency retainer fee. This means so long as we’re working your case for you, you don’t owe us a dime. In fact, if we don’t win your case, our services are absolutely free. No up-front consultation fees or attorney hourly fees. You can trust you’re getting the best legal team because we only collect payment when we help you make the proper recovery. Call us today for your 100% free and confidential consultation at (214) 526-7900.