Swimming Pool Accidents - Cook County Illinois
There were 3,443 fatal unintentional drownings in the US in 2007, according to the Centers for Disease Control. That's nearly 10 deaths every single day! About 20% or the victims are under 15 years of age. For every child drowning, four more were treated in the Emergency Room for injuries from near-drowning, known as submersion injuries.
Swimming pools are the most dangerous and common places for injuries. However, any open water can be dangerous. Lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, hot tubs and wading pools can all be places where people can drown. A person can drown in less than an inch of water if they are face down.
Serious Injuries Common
Swimming pool accidents often involve very serious injuries. While there are many deaths, many more people are left permanently injured with severe brain damage. This can result in long-term mental problems including learning disabilities, limited memory, and much worse. In the most severe cases, people are left in permanent vegetative states.
Those At Risk
Children age 1 to 4 years-old are at high risk of unintentional drowning. In fact, of those children age 1 to 4 who died an accidental death, almost 30% of children died from drowning. Boys and men are much more likely to die of drowning. African Americans are more likely to drown than whites. An African American child aged 5 to 14 years is 3.1 times more likely to drown a white child the same age. American Indian and Alaskan Native children are 2.2 times more likely to drown than white children.
Life Guards - often public and private pools fail to supply lifeguards. Many times the guards they supply are poorly trained or simply don't pay attention. Staffing with the proper number of life guards is also a serious problem.
Pool Drains - stay away from pool drains! Some pool drains have such powerful suction, even swimming near them can entrap a swimmer under water. More than 30 deaths have been reported from these drains.
Diving boards - diving injuries are not uncommon and usually result in spinal cord injuries and death. Many times the pool is not deep enough to have any diving board or the board supplied is too high for the pool.
Barriers and protection - in private homes and apartment buildings, children age 1 to 4 are at serious risk for drowning in the pool. The most common accident is where the child is last seen in the home, is missing for LESS THAN FIVE MINUTES, and is found unconscious in the pool. Many municipalities require locked fences around the pool to prevent such accidents.
Recreational activity drownings - when a youth is in or near open water in a recreational activity, such as the ocean, a river, or stream, the risk of accidental drowning increases. Sometimes drownings occur at day camps.
How to Help Prevent Accidental Drownings
Drowning is always a tragedy and can almost always be prevented if the right steps are taken. Most often, when there is an injury or death, the pool owner and operator are not complying with proper codes and regulations designed to protect swimmers. A user of the pool has the right to expect the pool owner and operator know how to operate the pool safely and won't allow anyone swim unless it is safe. Accidental drownings can be prevented only if these owners and operators do their job. If you feel they are not, let them know. You may not be an expert, but you can encourage them to do their job right.
If you or a loved one has suffered any injury at a swimming pool, lake, ocean, river or stream, contact us at Dixon Law Office. We can help hold those at fault responsible for the injuries.
Please call our office at 708-354-9880 to schedule an appointment with a Cook County personal injury attorney. Personal injury cases are taken on a contingency fee basis. If we accept your case, there is no fee unless we recover damages for you.