It’s that time of year—finally! Summer is in full swing, and
many Indiana residents are out enjoying the warm weather activities not
available to us during the cold and rainy seasons. There are boats on
every lake, and people swimming wherever they find a good spot.

Unfortunately, these fun summer activities often bring additional dangers,
especially in state such as Indiana where the activities do not occur
year-round. The joy of the season and the novelty of activities such as
swimming and boating can create a lack of attention to the dangers. This
is especially true for children, who as a group are already more likely
to underestimate danger while swimming. In fact, the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) have found drowning to be the NUMBER ONE
cause of death for children between the ages of 1 and 4.

Nearly 400 children drown each year in pools or spas, and another 5,000
are injured seriously enough to require emergency assistance. In Indiana,
we see a moderate number of child drowning deaths each year, and it remains
important for parents and others to be aware of the dangers and ways they
can keep the children of Indiana safe.

A very large majority of children who drown are under the age of 5, making
up 76% of drowning victims. In addition, boys account for 71% of all drowning
deaths of children aged 0-14. Though in general, a huge proportion of
drowning victims are under the age of five, the data is clear that older
African-American children are also significantly at risk. For children
between the ages of five and nineteen, African American children are 5.5
times more likely to drown in a pool than their white counterparts.

Important Pool Safety Tips

American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following safety tips for parents and those who have swimming
pools on their properties:

  • Supervision is critical! Children should never be left alone in the vicinity
    of pools or spas. For children under five, it is important for an adult
    to be within arm’s reach in the water at all times.
  • Use approved life vests. Inflatable swimming aids, such as floaties, are
    popular, but are not recommended. They create a false sense of safety
    for both parents and children and do not provide the same level of protection
    as life vests.
  • Swimming lessons for children can be helpful but should never be assumed
    to have “drown-proofed” a child. Even a strong swimmer can
    find him or herself in a bad situation, especially as children overtire
    themselves with summer activities.
  • All pools, including above-ground and inflatable pools, should have a fence
    on all four sides of the pool. Minimum height should be four feet, and
    they should not have openings through which children can enter the pool.
  • Pool gates should open out from the pool and should have latching and/or
    locking devices that are out of reach of children. Pet doors should not
    be installed in pool enclosure fences, as children have used them to gain
    entry to pools and drowned.
  • Rescue equipment should always be kept nearby. Take care to ensure your
    rescue equipment does not conduct electricity

All parents want to keep their children safe, but thousands of accidents
occur each year. Sometimes the injuries or deaths are true accidents,
but in many cases, pool owners have not taken the necessary precautionary
steps to ensure the pool in not accessible to children without supervision.
If your child is injured or drowns in a pool,
Wagner Reese can help you find justice and make the environment safer for other children.
Call us today for a no-cost, risk-free consultation: (888) 204-8440.