Child Injuries & Death From Swimming Pool Accidents & Michigan Legal Theories Used To Pursue A Claim  

by Pool Builders on 03-30-2010 in Articles

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there are on average nearly 10 drowning accidents occuring every day. Nonfatal drowning injuries can also be catastrophic and and can cause permanent brain damage, including problems with learning and memory, and permanent loss of brain function.

Most pool accidents involving children occur within minutes after the child was last seen alive. Many swimming pool incidents occur because the child has easy access to the water. Another reason why swimming pool incidents occur is because of poor or no parental supervision around the pool or outside where the pool is easily visible.

First, it is essential that children be taught to swim at an early age. Most swim schools teach children how to get to the side of a pool and climb out of a pool. Barriers and safety fences are also essential to prevent children from entering into a pool area itself, and pool alarms can alert a parent if a child enters into a pool without their knowledge.

However, there is no substitute for continuous adult supervision both when children are in the pool and even outside of a pool. Toys like "water wings," "noodles," and "inner tubes" can give a child a false sense of security, thereby encouraging the child to take greater risks (e.g., venturing out into deeper water). Also, do not engage in other distracting activities like yard work, while children are in the swimming pool. If you are unable to keep constant supervision, pull the children out of the pool until you are able to devote your complete attention to them.

In Michigan, there are several legal theories that are used to pursue claims for children injured in swimming pool accidents. Claims for damages can be filed due to the lack of proper supervision, the failure to have safety devices at the pool (life hook, life preserver, emergency phone), and even poor maintenance at the pool. In pools that are not properly maintained, children can have difficulty with their footing and may not be observable if they are below a filthy water surface. Also, the failure to have functioning pool lights is a major risk factor, especially when children are swimming at night. These vary depending on the type of pool and the location of the pool (residence, school, public, hotel, etc.) where the incident occurred. If the accident took place in Michigan, parents of children do have legal rights.

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