Swimming Pool Accidents – Prevention and Legal Accountability

pool fenceWhile there are many ways to enjoy the summer, spending time in a pool can be a great way to relax and make the most out of the long summer days. Unfortunately, pools can be just as dangerous as they are enjoyable. In fact, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 300 children under the age of five die each year, and at least 2,000 children are sent to hospital emergency rooms as a result of pool-related accidents. In addition, submersion incidents involving children typically occur in familiar areas, with approximately 65% of all submersion incidents occurring in a home pool, with another 33% occurring in pools owned by friends or relatives. While pools can be as dangerous as they are fun, there are several preventative measures a person can take in order to protect not only themselves, but also those around them from any harm or injury resulting from swimming pool accidents. .


While many people think of drowning or submersion incidents when they think of pool-related injuries, there are a wide variety of other injuries or accidents that may occur at a pool, including:

  • Electrical shocks
  • Slip-and-fall accidents
  • Chemical-related injuries

While there are several ways for someone to be injured in a pool accident, regardless of their age, there are also several ways to prevent injuries from occurring at your pool. While a majority of these methods should be common sense, such as being alert and aware about children around the pool, it is always important to make sure that you are thoroughly prepared when it comes to pool safety. The following are just a few ways you can help prevent injuries or accidents from occurring at a swimming pool.


Keep an eye on any children you might bring to the pool. While some people might not see the harm in taking care of other matters while a child is in the pool, it doesn’t take much for a child to drown, and in many cases a child can drown in less time than it takes to answer a phone call.

In addition to being aware of any children around the pool, it is also important to make sure that the number of people supervising the pool is proportionate to the number of people swimming, and that the people watching the pool can swim.


While awareness can prevent a fair number of pool accidents or injuries from occurring, there are also simple things a pool owner can do in order to limit access to a pool. While most barriers will not fully prevent an accident from occurring, they can give parents or supervisors additional time to locate a child before an injury or accident does happen. Barriers to a pool that can be used include, but are not limited to:

  • Fences
  • Walls
  • Door alarms
  • Safety covers


Another thing that you can do to prevent injuries to people using a pool is to properly maintain all pool equipment. In addition, proper maintenance is not only limited to tools, but also covers the grounds surrounding the pool. It is important to ensure that there are no obstacles or hazardous conditions present around the pool, as obstacles may cause slip-and-fall related injuries.

Pool Rules

It is important to be aware of any rules established to protect pool-goers while they spend time in the water. If you own your own home pool, then it is equally vital to establish clear, easy to remember pool rules that can ensure the safety of surrounding persons. Examples of pool rules include:

  • No running
  • No horseplay
  • No splashing
  • No dragging other people underwater

Legal Accountability

While there are ways to prevent an injury or accident from occurring at a pool, there is no guarantee that a person will be completely protected from injury. When someone is injured at a pool, the owner of the pool may wind up being liable for the injury due to premises liability, negligence, or products liability. In order to protect him or herself, the owner must take reasonable precautions to prevent drowning, slip-and-falls, and other kinds of accidents.

There are several ways for a pool owner to be held responsible for a pool accident. In some cases, the owner may be held responsible for injuries caused by hazardous conditions if he owns the property and knew or should have known about the hazardous condition and did nothing to fix or remedy the problem.

In addition to this, if a pool owner fails to take any precautions and an accident results, then that owner may be held negligent, regardless of any proof of negligence. This is because the owner’s failure to adhere to a reasonable standard would likely be the cause of the injury.