Swimming season is here, and parents should be aware of drowning dangers.
Young children who do not know how to swim must be never be left alone at a pool.
Furthermore, the homeowner should have the pool fenced-in with a “child-proof” fence. This will prevent a lone child from straying into the pool. It is also advisable to have a pool alarm. We have written about these dangers before here and here.
In the event that a child drowns in an unguarded pool, the homeowner may be liable for that child’s injuries or death. Therefore, the homeowner must use all reasonable care if they know that young children could be playing near or straying into the pool.
Consider the following scenario:
The Jones family invites the Smith family to visit on Sunday. The Jones’s have a backyard swimming pool which is open without a fence.
The Jones children, aged 4 and 7, go in the backyard to play with the Smith children, aged 4, 5, and 6. The children play around the pool without any adult supervision. The Jones and Smith parents stay inside the house watching a ballgame.
Little Johnnie Smith falls in the pool and flays helplessly. The children do not know what to do. Finally, the elder Jones child runs inside the house to summon the adults, but it is too late.
The Smith family may have a case against the Jones family for failing to take reasonable precautions, such as a child-proof fence and a pool alarm.
An example of a child-proof fence
Mark E. Seitelman, 6/7/10, www.seitelman.com.