Summer Weekends Brought Significant Number of Pool Drownings

Now that fall is underway, our Chicago personal injury lawyers have an even more accurate picture of the significant number of pool drownings that affected children and families nationwide over the summer months.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a study that showed summer weekends continue to be the time of year that children and swimmers of all ages are most susceptible to pool drowning accidents.

The agency looked at pool drownings from 2005 to 2009, and determined that more than 46 percent of deadly incidents and 57 percent of non-deadly incidents happened during weekends in the months of June, July and August. Children under the age of 4 faced the highest risk.

According to the study, the male pool drowning death rate is four times the rate for females. It was also reported that African-Americans between 5 and 14 years are three times more likely than their white counterparts to drown.

The study also found that 62 percent of Hispanics lack adequate swimming skills. The chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission attributed this to the fact that parents and grandparents of a number of Hispanic and African-American children never learned how to swim. and therefore did not pass the skill down to future generations.

A recent USA Today article revealed that the parents of an infant who drowned earlier this year in a baptismal pool at a daycare ministry in Indianapolis filed a pool drowning lawsuit against a state agency. The lawsuit alleges that the negligence of the daycare ministry caused the wrongful death of the 1-year-old boy.

According to the lawsuit, the boy was having lunch inside a playroom with other children when he walked out unnoticed. Employees later discovered him floating face down in a pool. The boy was pronounced dead at a hospital. The lawsuit alleges that the boy was permitted to wander by himself, causing him to fall into an unguarded pool of water.

The daycare ministry was unlicensed, and an agency inspection of the ministry late last year found that it had breached 18 health, sanitation and safety standards. Citations were issued.

Unfortunately, it appears that the state of Indiana was permitting the unlicensed daycare to continue. If the state had properly examined the daycare, it likely would have closed down sooner. The daycare did not close down until two weeks after the unfortunate drowning accident, after the agency withdrew a voucher program that resulted in a loss of clients.

Though the majority of faith-based daycare centers in Indiana are registered, they are not licensed by the state. As a result, they are exempt from a number of rules and regulations that apply to licensed facilities.

Also recently reported was the drowning of a Los Angeles-area boy, who drowned in a California National Park river. His younger brother also went missing. The two children waded into a river in the park, along with about a dozen other relatives during an afternoon hike. Both got swept away by a swift current.

According to a Park spokesman, although the river is approximately 50 feet wide and under a foot deep in close proximity to the banks around this time of year, there is a swift current as a person moves further on and it gets deeper.

The elder boy’s body was discovered about 500 feet downstream. Rangers and a park visitor attempted to resuscitate the boy, but were unsuccessful.

Two weeks previous to this particular drowning incident, there was a drowning incident in the same river involving a 57-year-old man. The accident occurred after the man got pinned under a rock. These drowning accidents are a reminder of the potential for peril associated with the park’s beautiful rivers.

If your loved one suffered a drowning or near-drowning accident due to another person’s negligence, contact a drowning accident attorney immediately to get the help you need.