As the weather gets warmer, pool season begins to kick into full-swing. Although usually an enjoyable, family experience, officials nationwide are warning pool-goers to be cautious as children across the country have already suffered injury and death on the water.
In Las Vegas, two teenagers were taken to the hospital from swimming pool-related injuries. An unnamed 16 year-old was taken to the hospital and remains in critical condition after sustaining injuries while swimming at a backyard pool. Unfortunately, 13 year-old Mikael Jose Luis Medrano wasn’t so lucky and died of complications after being found in another Las Vegas-area swimming pool.
The fate of Medrano is not uncommon. On average, 3,500 people drown in the United States on a yearly basis. Many of the victims are children and teenagers with the vast majority (eighty percent) being male. Nationwide Children’s Hospital researchers report that a child is injured every six minutes while at the pool or swimming.
The staggering number of pool-related youth deaths and injuries is a cause for concern for many parents. Father of two Walter Glenn enjoys spending time at the pool with his children. He says, “quality time with my daughters, build a relationship with them, show how much I care. When they’re in the pool, if I don’t let them drown then they trust me. So, it builds a trust relationship.”
Glenn prioritizes the relationship-building aspect of his family’s pool-times together while also ensuring that his daughters remain safe.
Chris Pinto, an aquatics director in Augusta, Georgia says, “water can be extremely fun. But at the same time there is some danger behind it if you’re not familiar with the water environment.” Pinto suggests that parents enroll their children in swimming lessons in order to maximize their safety. “You can never drown proof somebody. Even an Olympic swimmer can get a cramp and they need rescuing as well. So what swim lessons do is they give the knowledge about how to save themselves. Get to the side of the pool if they get a cramp or get injured.””
Recent research suggests that African Americans are three times as likely to drown as people from others races. In response, family aquatics facilities, such as those managed by Pinto, have installed water safety programs specifically aimed at inner city children. The SPLASH program that Pinto’s facility sponsors introduces participants to aquatics safety habits while also giving them adequate opportunity to play and have fun.
The SPLASH lessons are similar to what Glenn has emphasized to his daughters since they were very young. “It’s very important; if you don’t know how to swim and you get out there the lifeguard can’t get there in time especially a little kid. It’s like a teaspoon of water you can drown,” explains Glenn.
These claims are reiterated by Pinto who advises parents to be mindful of their children’s whereabouts at all times while they are in and around the swimming pool or any other body of water. Children can drown in bathtubs as well; very little water is necessary to drown.
Jeffrey Killino at the Child Injury Firm has the knowledge and experience to handle all kind of swimming pool related accidents and serious injuries. You may be entitled to receive damages for your child’s injury. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.