More and more children are back in the classrooms these days as many schools are now in session. However, there are still plenty of opportunities for kids and parents alike to take a swim or cool off in a backyard pool, especially when the temperatures are a little cooler like the early morning hours of the day.
But several recent incidents in Phoenix and across Maricopa County are causing officials to remind parents to exercise constant vigilance when it comes to activities in and around water as tragedy can strike in only a moment.
Parents must remember that swimming is not the only activity that can threaten their child’s safety with water involved. Rather, any time your child can access water, a swimming pool accident is possible and may happen long before you realize what is going on, leaving your child vulnerable to serious and even permanent harm.
Reports emerge every year of children walking away from a family gathering and entering a backyard pool area. Young children, particularly toddlers, have been known to crawl through a doggie door or other access point designed for an animal so they can exit a home and enter the water. In these cases, parents may not realize their child has left a safe area and entered a dangerous one until after the child is found in or near the pool.
In other instances, parents overestimate the swimming ability of kids, especially those who have not spent a lot of time in the water. Even if a child is capable of swimming well in typical conditions, that child may struggle from time to time or become fatigued as swimming continues, leading the child to slip under the water and potentially to suffer harm. For this reason, regardless of the age of your children, you must actively monitor them at all times when they are in or near the water and be constantly on alert for any signs of distress. Noticing a child who may be facing trouble early on can prevent a disaster before one takes place and ensure that everyone remains safe.
Parents and adults need to put safety first when it comes to the water and the easiest way to do that is to make sure all children know water safety and how to swim. There are countless organizations throughout the Phoenix area that specialize in providing swim classes to people of any ages and that teach basic rules for being safe around water. Parents should always remind their kids about the dangers presented by water and enforce all pool rules then enact, including things like always swimming with a buddy, never swimming without an adult present, never diving in an area not approved for diving, never running near a pool, and noticing signs of a problem with other swimmers before they become serious.
If you have a backyard pool, make sure it is in proper working order and that you are fully compliant with any local regulations covering your pool, including any fencing and gate requirements that may exist. Having a pool in an unsafe or dangerous condition may lead to your children or to others being injured and may make you financially responsible for any harm that results from an accident.
Prior Blog Entry:
Valley Still Recovering from Recent Monsoons, Car Accidents, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published August 3, 2016.