Backyard swimming pools are notoriously dangerous for babies, toddlers, and young children. If your child was injured or lost their life due to a backyard pool accident at another person’s premises, you have the right to pursue legal action. An experienced Philadelphia lawyer can help you through this traumatic time by ensuring that medical costs and other expenses are not incurred by you and your family when another party was responsible for the incident.
U.S. Drowning Statistics
Tragically, an average of 3,500 people die from unintentional drowning accidents each year, not including boating accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). One in five of these drowning deaths is a child under the age of 14, showing the disproportionate way in which children are killed by drowning. Even when drowning does not result in death, it often leads to serious, lifelong brain damage. For every child that dies of accidental drowning, five more are treated in emergency rooms for drowning injuries.
Pool Fence Laws in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code for swimming pools requires the following fence laws for residential swimming pools:
- The pool must be completely fenced in with a minimum height of four feet (48 inches);
- The fence can enclose either the entire property or just the pool itself;
- The fence cannot encourage climbing;
- The gate must be self-latching as well as self-closing, built of sturdy material;
- The latch itself has to be 54 inches off the ground, or a minimum of three inches below the top of the gate;
- The gate opening can be no greater than 18 inches of the release mechanism;
- Gate must swing away from the pool;
- Dwelling doors that open directly into the pool area must be equipped with an alarm that goes for at least 30 seconds when the door is open, and be audible throughout the dwelling.
Other ways in which pool accidents can be mitigated include the following:
- Adult supervision while children are swimming;
- Having safety devices such as rescue floats and poles nearby and in good working condition;
- Using non-slick walking surfaces;
- Removing dangerous or distracting toys and obstacles from the pool and surrounding area;
- Removing tripping hazards and keeping the pool area free from clutter;
- Having a landline or cellphone nearby the pool in case of an emergency while children are swimming;
- Adult owners and older children at the home should be CPR certified;
If the pool owner failed to implicate these or other safety features for their backyard pool, they may be found liable for damages.
Call a Philadelphia Premises Accident Attorney Today
A child drowning is no event that any parent should have to endure. Whether your child was injured or lost their life, you have the option to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. Call van der Veen, O’Neill, Hartshorn, and Levin in Philadelphia today for a free consultation. Our experienced premises accident lawyers are here for immediate help.