Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Prevent Summertime Swimming Pool Accidents and Liability

Swimming pools are becoming an increasingly popular amenity in homes new and old, and represent an activity that is especially enjoyable in the summertime. Unfortunately, pools can also be extremely dangerous, particularly for small and unsupervised children. In fact, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children ages one to four have the highest drowning rates, most of which occur in residential swimming pools. Approximately 300 children under the age of five die from pool-related accidents each year, and 2,000 more young children are hospitalized for submersion injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in a swimming pool accident or if a person has suffered injury or death while swimming in your pool, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options.

Factors That Influence Drowning Risk

There are a number of important factors that influence drowning risk and should be taken into consideration when preventing summertime swimming pool accidents and pool owner liability. It important for both parents and pool owners to consider all aspects of pool safety before allowing children, adolescents or adults access to swimming pools.
  • Lack of Supervision and Barriers
It is extremely important for young children and even
adults to be supervised when participating in swimming pool activities, whether by a professional lifeguard, parent or guardian. In addition, barriers like pool fencing should be used to prevent young children from gaining access to a pool area without the awareness or supervision of a caregiver. According to CDC statistics, there is an 83% reduction in the risk of childhood drowning with a four-sided isolation pool fence, compared to the three-sided property line fencing.
  • Lack of Life Jacket Use
Although life jacket use is typically more strictly enforced during boating activities or while swimming in lakes or rivers, small children and even adolescents or adults may also benefit from using a life jacket while swimming in a residential pool.
  • Alcohol Use
Up to half of adolescent and adult deaths associated with water recreation involve alcohol use. Alcohol can severely affect judgment, balance and coordination, and its effects are heightened by heat and sun exposure, making it especially dangerous during pool use.
  • Seizure Disorders
Drowning is the most common cause of unintentional injury and death among individuals with seizure disorders.

Consequences Associated with Swimming Pool Accidents and Injuries

In 2007, there were 3,443 fatal unintentional drownings in the United States, which translates to an average of ten deaths per day. Even nonfatal drownings can have severe consequences, potentially resulting in brain damage and long-term disabilities like permanent loss of basic functioning, memory problems and learning disabilities. According to the CDC, more than 55% of drowning victims treated in the emergency room require further hospitalization or transfer for higher levels of care. The injuries associated with swimming pool accidents can be severe, and the medical costs associated with pool accidents and injuries can also be quite high. During the initial hospitalization alone, medical costs can reach $2,000 even for victims who recover fully. For swimming pool accident victims who suffer severe injuries like brain damage, medical costs can skyrocket to $80,000.

How to Prevent Swimming Pool Accidents

The CDC provides tips to pool owners and users which can help prevent swimming pool accidents, injuries and death.
  • Learn to swim properly. According to research, receiving formal swimming lesson instruction can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among children aged one to four years.
  • Designate a responsible adult to watch children in and around the water. Children should be within touch of this person at all times. Adults should not be engaged in other activities while watching children near a pool, including reading, talking on the phone, etc.
  • Always swim with a buddy and/or swim within sight of a lifeguard when possible.
  • Learn CPR. The faster a bystander's response time, the better chance the victim has of surviving.
  • Do not use foam toys in place of life jackets. Noodles and inner tubes are not designed to keep a child safe, and may instill a false sense of security when a child is playing in a swimming pool.
  • Avoid alcohol use before and during pool-side supervision.
How to Prevent Owner Liability in Swimming Pool Accidents

If you have a pool at home, you are responsible for taking the appropriate measures to make the area as safe as possible. The first step you should take in pool ownership is to install four-sided fencing around the pool so that the house and play area of the yard are completely separated from the pool area. The fence should be at least four feet high and should employ self-latching gates that open outward with latches that are out of reach of children. You may also consider installing additional pool barriers like automatic door locks or alarms to prevent unauthorized pool access or to alert you if someone enters the pool area. Another step to take to prevent swimming pool accidents and injuries is to clear the pool and pool deck of toys. Floats, balls and other toys should be removed from the pool and surrounding area immediately after use so that children aren't tempted to re-enter the pool area without supervision.

Most young children who drown in swimming pools were last seen in their home, had been out of sight for less than five minutes, and were in the care of one or both parents at the time they were last seen. Many communities have established safety regulations governing residential swimming pools; in addition to these regulations, parents and pool owners can take their own precautions to reduce the chances of unsupervised children gaining access to swimming pool areas. If your child has suffered serious injury or death as a result of a swimming pool accident, contact a personal injury attorney, as you may be entitled to financial compensation for your child's injuries and the pain and suffering endured by you and your family. If you are a pool owner and an accident occurred at your residence, there are steps you can take to avoid facing owner liability for injuries incurred. With the help of a qualified personal injury lawyer, you can be aware of your legal options and ensure that your rights are adequately protected.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Swimming Pools Designs - What Style is the Best Choice For You?

Types Of Swimming Pools

A home swimming pool could be a fantastic refuge for weary family members. It is the one place where we all wish to be on a hot day. Swimming is a calming exercise, as well as a healthy one, for individuals of all age groups. In addition, a nicely created swimming pool adds class as well as value to any home.

But what type of pool should you put in?

You will find numerous options to consider. Here are probably the most common options:

Swimming Pools Designs: Above Ground: 

Above ground swimming pools are the simplest to build and the cheapest to buy, as they come as pre-made kits. They are the summer-fun answer for those who don't wish to make the larger commitment of an in-ground swimming pool. If you're not yet ready for a permanent structure in your yard, then an above-ground may be the way to go.

Here are the above ground swimming pool tidbits to think about:

Quick to install: Grab a few handy neighbors and you can be hosting a pool party in just a few days.

Moveable: Should you move, you can take your pool with you, give it to a friend or even sell it. Or you can leave it as a gain for the next owner of your home.

Choices: You are able to choose from aluminum, resin or steel sidings. All 3 types have numerous benefits, ranging from rust-resistance to average life-span. Your local dealer can help you to weigh the pros and cons of each kind.

Affordable: Above-grounds are excellent for those searching for a fairly affordable way to provide years of backyard family entertainment.

Great for Small Lots: If getting a back-hoe into your yard might be next-to-impossible, an above-ground can usually be carried in a kit to your yard and set up.

Variety: Above-grounds come in several sizes and shapes, and a range of decorative wall patterns and decking choices.

Swimming Pools Designs: Below Ground: 


Fiberglass pools are built utilizing molded fiberglass, reinforced plastic. Fiberglass pools are in ground, and can provide you years and years of family fun and swimming pleasure. Fundamentally, a fiberglass swimming pool is similar to a giant bathtub.

Here are fiberglass pool tidbits to think about:

Installation: As soon as your yard has been excavated, the swimming pool is delivered in one piece and set up. Building time is usually about two weeks.

Cost: Fiberglass pools are usually more expensive to purchase than concrete inground pools, but can save you money over the life of the pool. This is simply because they usually will require fewer chemicals than concrete pools. You also avoid upcoming replastering and liner replacement expenses.

Shock absorbent: What happens if the earth moves? Fiberglass has a shock-absorbing capability that allows it to bend up to 2 feet. However, there also are new concrete building methods that allow concrete to flex. So, it's important to remember that if you live in an earthquake-prone region, be certain to have your dealer explain the features and benefits of fiberglass and concrete construction.

Maintenance: Unlike a plaster finish, a fiberglass shell doesn't change the chemistry of the water, so you often will use much less acid. Simply because of the non-porous surface, you do not need to brush the pool nearly as often as a plaster-finished concrete swimming pool. However, you typically do not need to brush a pebble-finish concrete pool as frequently as a plaster-finish pool, so when discussing this choice with a dealer, be sure you're comparing apples to apples.


Vinyl lined swimming pools would be the cheapest kinds of in ground styles you can get, even though you will need to have the liner replaced every ten years or so.

A vinyl-liner swimming pool typically is shipped from the manufacturer in kit form. After excavation, the panel walls are bolted or fastened together and supported at the bottom by a concrete footing. The vinyl liner is spread over the interior of the swimming pool and covers the excavated floor and paneled walls. It is connected to the top of the panel walls by a vinyl rib at the outside edge of the liner. Be sure to ask your liners usually have to be replaced in your area of the country. Construction time for vinyl-liner swimming pools is usually one to three weeks.