Articles Posted in Swimming Pool Accidents

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According to a recent news article from WCPO, a college freshman was landed in the critical condition unit (CCU) of a local level-one trauma center after suffering serious injury at a party.  The accident occurred on property that was being rented by students of the same university as the victim.

poolWitnesses say there were about 300 or 400 people at this party, and there was a makeshift pool erected on the front lawn.  The pool was constructed using straw bales to form the walls of the pool and then a blue tarp was laid over the top of them to contain the water.  When filled, it held around 8 inches of water and it also featured a slide that the students had also constructed.
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According to a recent news article from CBS, the son-in-law of the famous reverend Billy Graham died in a tragic incident in a pool owned by the family. Family members say Danny Lotz, the 78-year-old victim, was swimming in the family pool when his heart stopped.

mtJBN8KHis wife Ann, Rev. Graham’s daughter, found her husband floating facedown in the water and immediately dialed 911. During the 911 call, victim’s wife said “He’s in the water. He’s huge. I can’t get him out. I’m just trying to hold his head above water.” Unfortunately, she was unable to get her husband out of the water. Continue reading

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Hodson v. Taylor, a case from the Supreme Court of Nebraska, involved plaintiff who was injured in a lake accident. Plaintiff and group of friends were invited to lake house owned by the parents of a member of group. All members of the group were around 18 at the time of the accident.

sunset-winter-scene-1250442-m.jpgThe family owned a pontoon boat, which the teens took out on the lake. The teens had each consumed several beers and would drive the boat to a location where they would jump into the water several times and swim around. After going to a few locations in the lake and engaging in these activities, the boat made a stop at the group’s final location. At this point, members of the group jumped off the boat repeatedly and swam around in the lake.

At one point, plaintiff jumped off the pontoon boat and hit an object he believed to be the bottom of the lake. None of the teens were sure of the lake’s depth at the time of his injury, but they all reported they swam without touching the bottom. Hitting the object in the lake was the last thing plaintiff remembered from that day.
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Our Boston personal injury lawyers know insurance cases involving defendants with multiple insurance companies may result in additional litigation.

959017_swimming_pool_water.jpgIn Fellowship of Christian Athletes v. Ironshore Specialty Ins., a case heard in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit, two boys attended a youth sports camp operated by the defendant. Neither of the boys could swim, and the parents indicated that they could not swim on the appropriate form.

One day during camp, there was a pool party for all campers. Once the pool party was over, the staff noticed the two boys were missing. Their bodies were eventually discovered lying next to each other on the bottom of the deep end of the pool. The medical examiner concluded that the cause of death for both children was drowning but the most shocking finding were that the times of death for the boys was determined to be at 10:42 p.m. and 10:44 p.m. respectively.
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This spring and summer, Bostonians and New Englanders will be pulling back their pool covers and prepping for swimming season. Opening residential pools for the season means backyard parties, fun with kids, and plenty of sun. While preparing to open your pool for the summer, it is important to remember safety guidelines to prevent accidents, injuries and drowning. Remember, pool owners also have a duty to follow certain laws and regulations to avoid liability. According to the

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Early this June, CBS Local reported that an 18-year-old girl was seriously injured in a swimming pool accident. The teen suffered a spinal injury, a fractured skull and a broken wrist. The teen also faces trespassing charges because she and a friend were allegedly “pool-hopping” at the time of the accident. Essentially, this means that the teens broke into someone’s back yard to go swimming. Unfortunately, they chose the backyard of someone whose pool had been emptied for repairs, which was how the 18-year-old was injured when she jumped in. 1341083_neglected_pool.jpg

Our Boston accident attorneys know that swimming pool accidents are far-too-common over the summer months. While pool-hopping teens may not be a common occurrence, trespassers coming onto properties to use swimming pools occurs frequently through the hot summer months, and many of these trespassers are young children who could drown within minutes. Young kids are even at risk of drowning in swimming pools with parents in arm’s reach, since most people don’t really recognize the signs of drowning.

Keeping kids (and teens) safe from summer swimming pool accidents thus needs to be a joint-effort. Parents and caregivers should do their part by supervising their kids carefully, teaching their kids to swim and learning the signs of drowning. Pool owners need to carefully secure their swimming pools to ensure that kids don’t wander into the pool and lose their lives.

Protecting Kids from Swimming Pool Accidents

The homeowner of the pool where the 18-year-old kid was injured had done everything right to try to prevent accidents and trespassers. The homeowner was actually a building inspector for the town of Westford whose job it is to make sure pools are up-to-code. He had a six-foot privacy fence to block the view of the pool and a four-foot-tall chain link fence around the rest of the area.

While his fence did not keep the teens out because they were intent on trespassing, it would have kept out an average child wandering around the neighborhood.

Having a fence is so important that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recently issued a call-to-action encouraging homeowners to put a fence around all pools. The CPSC’s news release on the fence issue was sent out because the majority of kids who drown -390 each year on average- do so in backyard pools.

Having the pool fence can protect these young children and it also protects homeowners from being held legally liable for injuries that kids sustain.

Of course, while a fence can keep trespassing kids out, kids are also at risk when swimming with permission unless they are carefully supervised. Supervised mean not just keeping an eye on them, but also knowing how to recognize the signs of drowning.

Unfortunately, many believe that drowning involves flailing and splashing like they see in the movies. The reality, however, is very different. As a Slate article recently indicated, drowning doesn’t usually look like drowning because a drowning person cannot cry out for help or flail. A drowning person cannot cry out because he cannot breathe, and he cannot flail because his drowning mechanism will cause him to extend his arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface.

Actual signs of drowning thus include a mouth that sinks and reappears regularly; movements that look as if the drowning person is climbing a ladder; and having glassy, closed or unfocused eyes.

If homeowners put up fences and parents and caregivers learn the signs of drowning this summer, hopefully there will be fewer deadly or dangerous drowning accidents and kids will make it through the summer season OK.
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The weather’s heating up and the swim suits are coming out. Swimming and other water-related activities are excellent ways to get the physical activity and health benefits needed after a long winter. Americans swim hundreds of millions of times in pools, oceans, lakes, rivers, and hot tubs/spas each year and most people have a safe and healthy time enjoying the water. However, it is important to be aware of ways to prevent drowning risks associated with this fun, summertime activity.
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Our Boston swimming pool accident lawyers understand that there are more than 10 million residential swimming pools across the U.S. and another 310,000 public swimming pools. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), close to 40 percent of children and about 20 percent of adults in the country swim about 10 times a year. When you add that all up, that’s some serious risks for accidents.

Every day, roughly ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children under the age of 15. As a matter of fact, drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the nation.

An adult should actively watch children at all times while they are in a pool. For infants and toddlers, an adult should be in the water and within arm’s reach, providing “touch supervision.” For older children, an adult should be paying constant attention and free from distractions. The supervising adult must know how to swim.

So we know all about the risks, but do you know about ways to make your pool safer for everyone? Here are some simple safety tips to make sure everyone has a fun and injury-free day at the pool.

Tips for a Safer Day at the Pool:

-Make sure everyone can swim. Enroll your youngest family members into swim classes. They’re affordable, they work and they can save lives.

-Protect your pool and protect young invaders with a four-sided pool fence. Make sure this fence is equipped with child-proof locks. You don’t want your little ones venturing near the pool when you’re not around to supervise.

-Make sure that you’re cleaning up your pool, and by that we mean that you should clear the water and pool deck of toys and floatation devices when the pool is not in use. You don’t want kids’ attention to be attracted to the pool when you’re not near.

-Learn CPR. Having these lifesaving skills can mean the difference between life and death while waiting for paramedics and emergency personnel to arrive.

-Always keep a phone with you. Whether it’s a house phone or a cell phone, you always want to have one within reach while attending your pool, just in case an accident happens.

We’re wishing you a safe summer season and a warm day at the pool, but we’re asking that you do so safely and responsibly.
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The Mayor of Boston, Thomas M. Menino, and Boston’s Chief of Human Services and Executive Director of Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF), Daphne Griffing, recently announced that the West Roxbury Educational Complex Pool will be putting on the Flaherty Pool programs.

They’re taking over these programs because the Flaherty pool will be temporarily closed for renovations.
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Starting in the middle of November, the Flaherty Pool will be undergoing close to $6 million in renovations. These renovations include better interior spaces, upgraded locker rooms, more powerful mechanical systems and a prettier exterior. During these renovations, pool memberships will be honored at any of the 14 pools in the area. Make sure you check out the event schedule for the West Roxbury Education Complex Pool.

Our Boston swimming pool accident attorneys encourage parents to enroll children in water safety classes. Drowning is a leading cause of fatal child injury and near-drowning cases frequently result in lifelong impairment. Residents and visitors to the area are urged to swim responsibly and safely, whether it’s in a public pool or in a residential pool. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are about 10 people in the U.S. who die every day because of drowning incidents. Of these fatalities, two are kids under the age of 14. As a matter of fact, drowning ranks as the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death in the country.

From 2005 to 2009, there were close to 4,000 people who were killed in non-boating drowning accidents in the U.S. Another 350 people die in boating-related drowning accidents. Twenty percent of these drowning victims are kids under the age of 14. For each child who dies in these accidents, another five end up in an emergency room with serious injuries.

More than half of the victims in drowning accidents end up in an emergency room and they require either a transfer for more care or further hospitalization. These drowning accidents can cause some serious and permanent injuries, including brain damage, memory problems, and permanent learning disabilities.

There are specific factors that can increase the risk of a drowning accident, too. Make sure to avoid these factors. It’s important that everyone knows how to swim. Formal swimming lessons, especially for young children, can drastically reduce your risks for a drowning accident. Pools that don’t have barriers have high risks of drowning accidents, too. All pools should be lined with fencing to help to keep kids out. These fences help to reduce risks by close to 85 percent.

You also want to make sure that you never drink and swim. Alcohol not only impairs your judgment behind the wheel, but also in the water. Keep a phone nearby as well in case of an emergency.

When there’s no supervision accidents easily happen, too. Make sure that young children are always supervised in a pool. Share this info with friends and family members to help to ensure that everyone is safe in the pool.
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Infants, toddlers and young children need to be supervised when playing around virtually all bodies of water, whether it is a bathtub, a toilet, a swimming pool, the ocean or even a small Koi fish pond.
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According to CBS Boston, a 10-month-old died after drowning in Littleton. The infant died after drowning in a Koi fish pond on the family’s property. Emergency response teams found him in their Koi fish pond at their home on Harvard Road. He was already unresponsive when they found him.

Firefighters arrived at the scene and pulled him from the pond. He was transported to Emerson Hospital and then later taken to Massachusetts General Hospital. He was first listed in serious condition for quite some time. According to officials with the Middlesex district attorney’s office, the toddler died just a few days after, reports ABC 40.

According to the boy’s neighbors, the family is new to the area and had not installed the Koi fish pond. It was left behind by the previous homeowners. It’s about two feet deep and about four feet wide. Unfortunately, it was large enough to cause some serious injuries to the toddler.

According to accident reports, there were a number of kid toys lying near the pond when officials arrived.

The accident is being investigated by the Middlesex County District Attorney’s office.

Swimming pools aren’t the only areas where infants are at risks for drowning accidents. They’re also at serious risks around lakes, ponds, beaches, bathtubs and other bodies of water. Every year, about 1,000 kids are killed in drowning accidents.

It’s important to make sure that you secure all lakes, ponds and swimming pools when you have a young child present. It’s a good idea for you to take a CPR course specialized in helping infants and toddlers. Avoid keeping toys near any ponds or lakes near your home. You also want to make sure that children are always supervised when they’re around these bodies of water. Consider enrolling your child into a swim course to help them to get a head start.

You even need to keep an eye on the bathtub. You might not think about it, but these are common places for drowning accidents to happen.

Bathtub Safety Tips:

-Cover the surface of the tub with a suctioned mat to help to reduce the risks of slipping.

-Fill the tub with no more than 4 inches of water.

-Never leave a child unattended while they’re in the bathtub.

-Put a soft cover on the faucet so they don’t get hurt in the event of a fall.

-Make sure water temps are appropriate for their young bodies.

-Don’t allow newly potty trained children to use the restroom without supervision.

-Never allow water to get hotter than 120 degrees. Any hotter can cause scaling injuries.

-Never allow children to drink the water.

-Keep toilet lids down and bathroom doors closed at all times.
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The sun is shining, the heat is here and the pools are now open!

The good news is many pools in the area are opening 7 days a week, according to the City of Boston. Mayor Menino recently made the announcement of 10 city pools that will be open every day of the week for residents to enjoy!

Unfortunately, with more time outdoors and more time in the pool, the risks for accidents are much higher.
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The City departments as well as non-profit and corporate partners are working to help to integrate and increase summer programming within the city, to help to make sure that each child resident has an opportunity to do something positive every day of the summer season. In addition to the programs that are being held at community centers across the city, the City of Boston and the Mayor are holding hundreds of city pool parties, movies series, outdoor programs and concerts across the city and in local parks.

Our Boston personal injury attorneys understand that children are out of school for the summer and are looking for a good time. Unfortunately, many of these good-time activities involve some serious risks for accidents, especially with the heat we’ve seen in recent weeks. We’ve seen temps in the upper 90s! For that reason, it’s important you do your part to help you to keep our little ones safe in the summer heat and when playing in and near the pool. Unfortunately, heat injuries are likely for children when we’ve got weather this hot. It only takes a few minutes for them to endure a heat illness. This happens when the heat quickly increases your body temperature beyond its comfortable 98.6° F.

“Now we are also making our City pools accessible to residents 7 days a week, for the first time ever, for anyone who wants to cool off from the summer heat,” said Major Menino.

If you’d like to know what’s going on in your neighborhood, you’re urged to check out the Find Your Summer website. But before you do though, we’re asking parents, guardians and childcare providers to review the follow safety tips to help make sure that everyone is safe during this summer season.

Summertime and Pool Safety Tips:

-Make sure everyone is well hydrated. Drink plenty of water.

-Make sure that you use your sunscreen!

-Never allow children to swim unsupervised.

-Keep a cell phone near you at all times in case of an emergency.

-Consider outdoor activities early in the morning before the heat swoops in.

-Never stay out in the sun for too long.

-Never push others into the pool.

-Teach children to float or swim as soon as possible.

-Avoid drinking and swimming or hanging out in the heat.

-Keep electronics away from the pool and away from other water sources.

-Keep rescue devices and first-aid supplies nearby.
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