Summer is just around the corner, which means that millions of children across the United States will soon be enjoying swimming in a pool. Unfortunately, a new study released by the American Journal of Emergency Medicine in March, 2013 reveals that swimming pool injuries are on the rise.
What the Study Found
According to results of the study, there is a new swimming related injury reported every 6 minutes, an increase of almost 13,000 injuries than were reported in 1990. The study compiled data from the period between 1990 and 2008, and revealed surprising results. In children age 7 and older, the increase in pool related injuries jumped by almost 30%, and children age 16 and under accounted for well over half, about 60%, of total swimming related injuries. Also, 87% of injuries were reported in or around pools, while 13% were reported to occur in or around naturally occurring bodies of water, like beaches and lakes.
The primary injuries suffered by victims of swimming related accidents included punctures, cuts, scrapes, and bruises and were most often sustained to the head, neck, and lower body. Due to the fact that most injuries were reported to these areas, it is likely that the injuries were the result of falls and jumps into shallow water.
Medical professionals who were interviewed following the release of the study say that the primary reason for the increase in injuries is a lack of supervision / attentiveness which is given to children playing in or near pools. Another reason provided is one of population – as sunnier states, like California and Florida, have seen an increase in population over the years, the number of pool related injuries has also increased.
How to Avoid an Accident
Even though a child may be an avid swimmer, and even though a family may have lived by a pool for several years, it is no guarantee that an accident won’t occur. Parents of children of any age are urged to pay close attention to anyone who plays in or near a pool, and to control access to the pool by installing a locking gate around the entire length of the pool.
What Happens when an Injury Occurs
As far as civil litigation is concerned, anyone who owns or manages a pool on their property can be responsible for injuries, and even deaths, that result because of their negligence or recklessness in monitoring / supervising the pool. What this means is that parents of a child who is injured in a swimming related accident on another person’s property may be able to seek damages in the form of monetary compensation from the responsible property owner.
An experienced swimming pool injury attorney can advise the accident victim and his or her family on their rights to recovery and the overall claim and litigation process. Every case is different and the different facts of a case can have a major impact on the result of an accident claim, which is why injury victims are encouraged to work with an attorney who can recognize the nuances of a case and seek compensation accordingly on behalf of the victim.