Child deaths are always a tragedy, and made all the more so when as preventable as a pool drowning
Houston, Texas (PRWEB) July 02, 2012
As a Texas personal injury attorney, Greg Baumgartner is all too familiar with the dangers children face in the modern world, but he reminds parents that some of the most serious hazards are literally in their backyards. “Swimming pools are as much a part of Texas summer as barbecue and Independence Day,” said Baumgartner, “but they can be deadly.”
The U.S. National Safety Council backs up Baumgartner’s warning with some sobering statistics. Many parents fear stranger abduction and accidental firearm deaths, and spend millions annually to protect their children from these hazards. Yet NSC statistics demonstrate that 11 children drown every year for every one child accidentally shot. Children are 71 times as likely to drown as to be killed by a kidnapper. According to California’s Orange County Fire Authority, toddlers are 14 times more likely to die in a swimming pool than in a motor vehicle accident.
“The most poignant fact of all is that 70 percent of preschoolers who drown were in the care of one or both parents at the time,” says Baumgartner. In light of this, Baumgartner and his personal Texas personal injury law firm, Baumgartner Law Firm, offer these safety tips for Texas parents to keep their children safe in swimming pools.
- Keep children in sight, and toddlers within arm’s length, at all times. Most fatal drowning happens in less than two minutes.
- Make sure swimming children are supervised with adults capable of rescuing them in an emergency, and who know CPR. Never leave children alone in or near the pool.
- Avoid floaties, and similar inflatable swimming aids. They won’t protect your children from drowning, but they might instill a false sense of security in children and adults.
- Do not count on swimming lessons to make infants and toddlers water-safe. Such sessions are important and can be fun for parents and babies, but children under 4 aren’t developmentally capable of swimming.
Baumgartner also reminds parents to keep the swimming area safe. “Surround your pool on all sides with a fence at least five feet tall, with a locking gate, and keep rescue equipment and a phone nearby.” It is also a good idea to have at least one other safety devise in addition to a locked fence. A good source of pool safety can be found at http://www.poolsafely.gov.
The Baumgartner Law Office investigates hundreds of Texas personal injury cases every year, but Baumgartner would count himself lucky to never again work a case involving the wrongful death of a child. "The pain of a parent who has lost a child is about as bad as it gets" Greg says. He urges parents to not only follow these rules at their own homes, but to check homes their children may visit to ensure swimming pools there are equally safe.
“Child deaths are always a tragedy, and made all the more so when as preventable as a pool drowning. If it’s caused by an adult’s negligence, or that of the management of an apartment complex, holding someone accountable is often the only thing left for the family to do,” Baumgartner said.