One of the most common accidents that occurs in Phoenix and other parts of the country is child drownings and pool accidents. While it is exciting to take your children to the pool or even to have a new pool installed on your property that they can enjoy all year long, it is important for pool owners, parents, caregivers, and chaperones to know and understand how dangerous accidental drownings are, especially for children. In fact, child drownings and pool accidents are heart-wrenching accidents that can traumatize and devastate families for many years after the incident.
Recent child drownings and pool accidents in Phoenix, AZ
In Phoenix alone, there are many child drownings and pool accidents that occur several times each year. With the high temperatures that our area experiences year-round, pools are very popular. However, with more people having and visiting pools, the chances of children drowning or being involved in pool accidents increases. Here are a few of the most recent child pool accidents and drownings that have occurred in the Phoenix area:
- In November 2023, a toddler was rescued from a homeowner’s pool in Phoenix. The toddler was described as a three-year-old boy who was under the water for a few minutes before he was pulled out by a family member. He was listed as in critical condition.
- In October 2023, a baby was rushed to the hospital after being rescued from a swimming pool in the backyard of a home in Peoria. The baby’s condition has not been reported.
- In August 2023, law enforcement and emergency medical technicians were called to a home in Goodyear after a child had been found underwater in a pool. The child was transported to the hospital immediately but died a few days later from the incident.
- In July 2023, a three-year-old girl was pulled from a pool located in a backyard in Phoenix. The girl was described as not breathing and being in an unconscious state. She was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital.
According to the City of Phoenix, there have been 44 water incidents and 18 drowning and water fatalities so far in the Phoenix area in 2023. These numbers include both adults and children.
Can child drownings and pool accidents be prevented?
Child drownings and pool accidents can and should be prevented at all costs. Children are very curious. Therefore, if you own a pool or visit a pool, they should be closely watched and monitored at all times. If you turn your back or take your eyes off a child for a few seconds, there is a high chance that they will have already made their way to the pool and possibly fell or got into the water. In order to prevent this from happening, there are a few things you can do, such as:
- Install a fence or gate around the pool: Many pool drownings and accidents involving children happen because homes lack fences or gates. Therefore, if you install a four-sided gate or fence around your pool, this will increase your chances of keeping your child out of the pool. You will need to ensure that the gate or fence locks and is taller than your child.
- Never allow your child to walk around a pool unattended: When you decide to have a pool day, you should make sure that you are with your child at all times. They may become anxious and impatient about how much fun they are about to have, but it is never a good idea to allow your child to walk around the pool or go to the pool unattended.
- Use alarms on your pool and gates: If you are the owner of a pool, it is a great idea to install alarms on your pool and gates. While you might not worry about intruders or trespassers accessing your pool, these alarms can give you peace of mind knowing that your children are not in the pool alone. The alarms will make a sound and alert you if any gate has been opened or if someone is in your pool.
- Purchase coast guard approved floaties: Floaties are a wonderful idea for children who enjoy swimming. However, you always want to make sure that the floats you purchase are Coast Guard approved. This means that they are top quality and should prevent your child from drowning. Always put these floating devices on your child before they get in or go near the water.
Signs that a child is drowning
Most people have never witnessed a person drowning. Therefore, when it happens, they may fail to notice the signs and react immediately. Knowing and recognizing the warning signs of a child drowning are absolutely necessary to possibly save the child and get help as quickly as possible. The following are some of the warning signs to look for:
- Hair over the forehead or eyes
- Eyes that look glassy
- Looking confused
- Loud and excessive coughing
- Heavy breathing or gasping for air
In movies and television shows, people who are drowning typically yell for help, start panicking, and begin splashing water. However, this usually does not happen in real life, especially among children. Instead, children who are drowning have likely already swallowed too much water to be able to scream for help. In addition, children are usually found face down instead of panicking and moving around. Any time that you notice a child looking face down and making no noise in a swimming pool, you should make your way to the child immediately.
Who can be held liable for my child’s drowning or swimming pool accident?
Your attorney will meet with you to go over the various factors and circumstances of your case. Once they learn this valuable information, they can help you determine who is liable for your child’s drowning or swimming pool accident. These are the possible parties that could be liable:
- A hotel or motel
- Private or public pool clubs
- Property owners
- Recreational centers
If your child has been involved in a pool accident due to another person’s negligence, please do not hesitate to reach out to a personal injury attorney from Plattner Verderame, PC at your earliest opportunity. Our team is committed to helping you and your family through this tough time and ensuring that justice is served. We have spent years working on similar cases, which is why we are happy to use our experience and knowledge to guide you through the obstacles and hurdles that arise from your case. Call our office or submit our contact form to set up an initial meeting at our Tempe or Phoenix office today.
I have been active in leadership in the Arizona Association for Justice (lawyers who represent injured folks, and formerly known as the Arizona Trial Lawyers Association) since 1985. I served as President in 1991. I was an active participant in battles to protect the Arizona Constitution from the insurance industry and big business interests in 1986, 1990 and 1994.
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