Leaping into a swimming pool or bouncing around on a trampoline are two of the best escapes from the scorching Tennessee summer heat. Pools and trampolines are synonymous with outdoor fun, but if proper rules aren’t followed, they can be very dangerous. Keep reading for swimming pool and trampoline safety tips from our skilled Knoxville personal injury lawyers.
More than 200 young children drown on average in backyard swimming pools each year in the U.S. In fact, child drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children under the age of 4, according to the USA Swimming Foundation.
Preventing injury at the pool
1. Teach children how to swim
The best way to keep kids safe in the water is to teach them how to swim. Remember, children develop at different rates, so there is no precise age to begin swim lessons. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children 4 years and older should begin swimming lessons. But if they’re ready, children as early as 1 to 4 years of age can learn to swim.
2. If a child is in the pool, an adult needs to be present
A good rule of thumb is to have an adult actively watch children at all times when they are in or near a pool. An adult should be in the water and within arm’s reach when babies and toddlers are in the water. When older children are in the pool, an adult should always pay close attention and be free from distractions like texting, socializing, housework, and alcohol.
3. Establish a list of pool rules, and follow them
If you have a pool, it’s important to establish a set of mandatory rules. Here are some examples:
- Keep toys away from the pool when it’s not in use
- Always empty blow-up pools after each use
- Never allow tricycles or riding toys poolside
- No electrical appliances near the pool
- Never dive in a pool that’s not deep enough
- Never dive into above-ground pools because they are usually not deep enough
- Never dive through inner tubes or other pool toys
- No running on the pool deck
- Don’t allow glassware near the pool
4. Build a pool fence
If you don’t have a pool fence, you should consider building one because it is one of the best ways to protect your child and other kids who visit or live nearby. Fences should be at least four feet high and have no footholds or handholds. Chain-link fences are not recommended because they are very easy to climb. Instead, pool owners should use vertical slats that are no more than four inches apart.
Be sure to have a gate that closes and latches by itself and only opens away from the pool. Latches should be higher than a child can reach (54 inches from the bottom of the gate).
Trampolines are synonymous with suburbia. Take a drive through the neighborhoods or the countryside of East Tennessee, and chances are you will see dozens of them. Every kid wants one, and most parents have at least considered them.
Trampolines can provide countless afternoons of joy, freeing us from the bonds of gravity if only for a few seconds at a time.
But did you know that 100,000 hospital visits a year are caused by trampolines? The range of issues spans from bruises to spinal cord injuries. Of significant concern are these statistics:
1/3 of trampoline injuries happen to kids under the age of 6
50% of trampoline injuries to kids under 5 are fractures and dislocations
1 in 200 trampoline injuries leads to significant neurological damage
What precautions can you take?
As with any recreational activity, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk associated with owning and using a trampoline.
Supervise, supervise, supervise
Most trampoline injuries result when there is no, or lax, adult supervision.
One at a time, kids
75% of trampoline injuries occur when more than one person is bouncing.
Even your odds
Make sure you place the trampoline on level ground.
Use pads and safety nets to minimize accidents.
Leave the acrobatics to the circus
Flips and somersaults, though admittedly tempting, multiply the likelihood of injury.
Ask your insurance agent if trampolines are covered by your homeowner’s/renter’s insurance, and inquire about a rider for additional coverage if necessary.
Was your child injured in a pool or trampoline incident? Get the representation you deserve.
If you or someone you love have suffered an injury on an attractive nuisance such as a pool or trampoline, call the skilled personal injury attorneys at Hotz & Associates, P.C. Our experienced personal injury attorneys can help you determine what relief is available to you. Call us at (865) 582-0042 today.