Our Chicago personal injury attorneys understand the dangers that are often associated with swimming pools. However, many Illinois residents are unaware that the same risks come with portable pools, including inflatable pools, or what many people call kiddie-pools.
Although portable pools may seem like a low-cost, harmless source of summer fun, our Illinois pool injury attorneys read with sadness a study from the Center for Injury Research and Policy, citing the fact that these pools may be much more dangerous than parents realize. Because of the pools’ small size, and because they are targeted for use by children, parents are often unaware of the potential dangers posed by these pools.
In the study conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy, researchers studied a number of case files in which children had drowned or been seriously harmed when using a portable pool. Devastatingly, the majority of children whose cases were studied were younger than five years-old. At this age, children need a higher level of supervision, and are far more likely to sustain injuries or drown, if left on their own.
However, even if an adult is supervising, that may not be enough. The adult in charge of watching the child must be able to give his or her undivided attention. In 18 percent of the cases analyzed in this study, a short lapse in the adult’s attention was enough time to put the child in danger. Even if the adult only looks away for a moment to answer the phone or socialize with neighbors, “it only takes a couple of minutes and a few inches of water for a child to drown,” says Dr. Gary A. Smith, senior author of the study.
In order to prevent these tragedies, “it is important for parents to realize that portable pools can be just as dangerous as in-ground pools,” advises Dr. Smith. So what can you do to protect yourself? Know the dangers associated with portable pools, and if you decide to let your child enjoy a portable pool, make sure you set aside enough time to give them your complete attention. By following these two simple rules, you can save yourself the agony of the potential injury or death that is otherwise provided by this fun, summertime activity.