Have you jumped in a pool yet this season? The hot and hazy days of a Missouri summer can make the chance to swim in cool, clear water irresistible. The allure does not just draw in adults either. The idea of splashing in and getting relief from the heat appeals to the youngest toddlers among us and nearly grown-up teens, too.
It is those very same youngsters that are particularly at risk, however, when they decide to dive in without appropriate supervision. If your children do not know how to swim, they should not get in the water at all when no one else is around; and even if they do know how to swim, they should never swim alone.
Premises liability and pool accidents
If you are a pool owner, besides taking care of protecting your own children around the water, you will also want to be aware of your responsibility to others' kids when they are on your premises. Premises liability relates to owners' legal obligations for accidents that happen on their property, and you could find yourself liable for a pool accident that happens in your backyard.
Tips for preventing pool accidents
To be sure you have done everything in your power to make your pool safe, follow the American Red Cross's tips:
- Be sure everyone in your family has learned to swim
- "Establish and enforce rules and safe behaviors, such as 'no diving'...[and] 'swim with a buddy'"
- Be sure visitors to your pool also follow the rules
- Require inexperienced swimmers to wear a life jacket at all times
- Supervise children at all times and keep them within arm's reach
- Add safety barriers, a cover and an alarm so that no one enters the pool when they should not
The Red Cross says backyard pool accidents kill more than 200 kids every year. Do your best to keep your pool out of these statistics.
Note this information is educational in intent and does not offer legal advice.