(PRWEB) July 30, 2014
In May, 2014, FOX News reported that 10-year-old Las Vegas resident Austin Sonetti had succumbed to injuries he suffered in a near-drowning incident nine years before ("Las Vegas boy dies 9 years after near-drowning" by Matt Guillermo and Les Krifaton). According to the story, Sonetti fell into a pool and was revived but suffered a traumatic brain injury that left him bedridden and with severe cognitive disabilities for the rest of his life. "The Sonetti case is a tragic reminder of how quickly a young life can be changed forever," says Las Vegas Attorney Al Lasso of Lasso Injury Law. "Death is often the tragic result of pool drowning for young children but even if a victim survives, if their brain is deprived of oxygen for even a short amount of time, they can suffer irreversible brain damage."
According to the non-profit community organization "Get Healthy Clark County," eight children have been the victims of drowning each year since 2000 in Southern Nevada. The majority of the victims were 4-years-old or younger and most drowning incidents occurred in pools at private residences. "It seems that every year we put out safety warnings about pool safety. Whether its fire departments, hospitals, community organizations like 'Pooling Together, Saving Lives,' or others, we keep sounding the alarm but tragedies still occur. We will continue sounding the alarm until these incidents become a thing of the past," Lasso asserts. And, he observes, "the problem may be more acute in the southwest and other hot weather states, but kids throughout the nation suffer in drowning accidents all the time."
The risk of drowning is especially high for children in residential pools. This includes pools in single-family homes but also apartments, condominiums and HOA managed pools. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) "Pool Safely" initiative reports that 390 people under the age of 14 died in pools or spas between 2008 and 2010 in the nation while many others survived but experienced life-altering brain injuries. According to a "Pooling Together, Saving Lives" public service announcement posted on June 24, 2014 at the KSNV news website and airing on local television, drowning is the number one cause of preventable death for young children in Southern Nevada.
"We have to do all we can to prevent these kinds of tragedies and that is why I joined with other community safety advocates to promote 'Pooling Together, Saving Lives,' " Lasso explains. "Our hope is that more parents, guardians and other responsible adults will take pool safety more seriously than ever before. At Lasso Injury Law, we have the ability to investigate these cases and identify possible negligence and liability, but we want to do all we can to make sure these kinds of incidents are avoided altogether. "
In an effort to make pools safer for children, Lasso suggests self-latching safety gates around pools and making sure children are under close observation any time they are in or near the water. Some of the other tips that "Pooling Together, Saving Lives" encourages: