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Keeping Children And Families Safe In Swimming Pools

As we approach (what feels like) unprecedented levels of hot weather this summer, many families will likely flock to swimming pools to cool off and provide their children with a fun activity to fill their weekends. However, it is important to be aware that not only can your child become injured from slipping and falling at the local pool, for example, butthe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recently closed thousands of public pools due to serious health and safety violations.

Specifically, the most recent findings indicated that the highest proportion of closures amongst all inspected facilities involved the kiddie/wading pools, and the most common violations involved improper pH, safety equipment, and disinfectant levels. If you or a loved one will be visiting a public pool this summer, there are some precautions—as well as legal issues—that you may want to keep in mind.

Important Precautions

In order to avoid getting sick or injured at public pools, the CDC recommends doing the following:

  • Obtain a test strip (available from many superstores) to determine if the pH, chlorine, and bromine levels are correct in the pool. The CDC provides some guidance on what specific levels they recommendhere;
  • Make sure that you can see the drain at the bottom of the deep end;
  • Make sure that the drain covers are secured and functional;
  • Make sure there’s a lifeguard on duty; and
  • Check to see whether/what safety equipment is available and where it’s located.

It is important to note that if you or your child is attending an event organized at the pool, the organizers of the event may not always take these proper precautions to ensure that the pool is safe for the children’s group or other visitors. However, do keep in mind that the pool facility does have a duty to ensure that the facilities and visitors are kept reasonably safe; still, that doesn’t seem to prevent what appears to be an inordinately high number of children dying from drowning in pools every day. Sadly, we have dealt with some of these cases in Chicago and surrounding areas, and you can never be too cautious.

There are also sometimes concerns regarding the level of training that the lifeguard has (or has not) received. If a child has been injured at a pool and the proper precautions have been taken to ensure that chemical levels in the pool itself were not the culprit, the facility’s policies and procedures should be investigated to see if improper training of any staff on-site contributed to the incident.

Premises Liability Attorneys Committed To Victims’ Rights

If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of an improperly maintained public pool, or other unsafe condition on public or private property, we are here to help. Take action quickly to ensure that you and your family’s rights are protected—contact us online or call 312.321.1111 for a free consultation.