The idea and fear of drowning is enough to keep many people away from the water. Indeed, the idea of not being able to draw in any air and feel life slipping away is something that should be reserved only for horror films. But deaths from drowning are very real and happen on a regular basis. Swimming is very popular in Arizona, largely because the heat is so intense and long-lasting throughout the year, that while other parts of the country are too cold for a dip, Arizona is still in prime swimming pool weather. Sadly, this also seems to result in a higher drowning rate.
As of May 13th, 2019, 12 people have already drowned in Maricopa and Pinal counties. That number includes nine adults and two children under the age of 5. Sadly, one of these deaths was of a baby, less than a year old, drowning in a toilet while being babysat by a sibling. Accidents like these are terribly tragic. Some of them result from improper supervision by a babysitter or nanny. You may want to consult with an attorney in matters like this, as no child should ever have to suffer this fate. Alas, this happens far too often in Arizona. The state ranked 4th in the nation for the greatest number of child drowning deaths in 2017.
Because most accidents happen at home, many drowning incidents are just a terrible set of circumstances that families have to struggle with and try to emotionally overcome. Sometimes a young child wanders off into the family pool and drowns because there was no barrier around the pool or if there was, the child was able to get past it. If a child drowns in another person’s pool, a public pool, or a public beach, then there may be a degree of fault or negligence at play. If a child is left unattended, the lifeguards were not performing their job properly, another person’s pool wasn’t maintained properly, or the barrier around it wasn’t maintained. These are circumstances where a party may be liable for the drowning death of a child.
The biggest factor in avoiding incidents like this is to ensure that children are properly supervised. If children are anywhere near water, an adult needs to be there to make sure the child doesn’t enter the water. The same should apply with adults who aren’t great swimmers or are swimming in unfamiliar waters, they should have a buddy nearby to swim with or assist them. As mentioned earlier, pools should also be properly protected with fencing or a barrier of some kind to prevent access from children. Finally, ensure that the pool and its surroundings are safe and properly maintained. This means that any ladders leading into and out of the pool should be secure, the deck surrounding an in-ground pool should be safe and hazard-free, and any pool filtration systems should have proper vents on them, to reduce the chance of someone being trapped by the suction.
If there’s one thing sadder than a drowning death, it’s knowing how preventable they can be. Whether it be a child drowning in the bathtub or an adult hitting their head on the bottom of a pool while diving. We try to trust ourselves to be careful and attentive, but sometimes the people we place trust in to help us ensure safety, do not perform the job they’re meant to do. If you’ve lost a loved one in a preventable drowning accident, contact ELG Law for a free consultation. Call us at (623) 321-0566 and speak to one of our attorneys about the circumstances of your case. Sometimes it’s too late to save someone from a terrible accident, but you can make sure that those who are responsible for it are held accountable.