Our Illinois swimming pool attorneys know that summer always brings a string of drownings and near-drownings across our area. As local residents attempt to beat the summer heat, many people flock to wherever they can stay cool and enjoy afternoon fun. Often that means that they end in their backyard pools, public pools, water parks, and at similar places.
Unfortunately, far too many owners and operators of those public spaces fail to take the steps necessary to keep the water experience safe. When that happens, young children are often caught in the crosshairs. For example, the Beacon News reported yesterday on a tragic Illinois swimming pool accident that took the life of a two-year Aurora child. According to reports the young child was at a home apparently used for daycare services when she fell into an above ground swimming pool in the backyard. The home belonged to a 36-year old woman who was the only adult home at the time.
The woman noticed that the child was missing and then saw that an interior door leading to an attached garage was opened. She followed that to the backyard before eventually checking in the pool and finding the child in the water. She pulled her from the pool, called 911 and began administering CPR. Emergency crews rushed to the scene, but little could be done for the child. She died at a nearby hospital shortly afterwards.
Investigators descended on the scene after the accident. They noticed that the woman was caring for a total of seven children at the time of the accident-not counting three children of her own. According to the report, police believe that the woman may have been operating as a day-care without a license. As is common following accidents of this nature, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services are investigating the tragedy.
Our Chicago pool accident attorneys have represented families who have lost loved ones in water accidents. Even though the dangers posed by pools are known by most, many individuals who control swimming pools do not act appropriately to keep them safe.
The first line of defense when it comes to preventing swimming accident is proper supervision. All those charged with caring for children near the water-from parents to lifeguards and camp counselors-must keep an eye on the children at all times. Part of this duty involves insuring that there are not too many children in a pool at once that prevents proper supervision. Overcrowding is a common problem in many public pools which makes it impossible for lifeguards to properly monitor water conditions and identify when a child is in danger.
Besides supervision, pool operators must also keep the pool in safe condition. In part that means that all swimming pools need proper fencing and working locks on those gates. For example, this latest Aurora drowning accident might have been prevented if the toddler was unable to access the water through the pool gate. Even seemingly simple steps can be the difference between life and death.
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