Personal Injury Attorney Phoenix Arizona: Why are some children much more likely to die in swimming pool accidents?

Personal Injury Attorney Phoenix ArizonaAccording to a recent story on NPR, swimming pool drowning rates among school-aged black children are more than five times higher than they are among white kids the same age.

Why? Asks a Personal Injury Attorney Phoenix Arizona.

According to experts, the biggest reason is that many low-income children, including many African-American children, don’t have easy access to public pools and thus lack the opportunity to learn basic swimming skills.

Homes in the Phoenix area are more likely to have outdoor swimming pools than in any other major US city.  Arizona leads the nation in swimming pools per person, with nearly 2.5 times the national average.

And where there are swimming pools, there are swimming pool accidents

Injury claims for swimming pool accidents are based on the general law of premises liability. Most such claims are covered by homeowner’s insurance or other liability insurance. If you need help, contact a Personal Injury Attorney Phoenix Arizona.

Under the “attractive nuisance” doctrine, pool owners are required to keep pools safe from young children who don’t understand the dangers of drowning or who don’t know how to swim.

Under Arizona law, swimming pools are required to be enclosed by a wall or fence at least five feet high.  The wall or fence must also meet requirements that make it difficult for someone to climb over it.  Gates for the enclosure must be self-latching.

Certain risks, such as slippery surfaces around pools, may be considered too obvious to create liability for the pool owner.

However, it may not be obvious that a pool is too shallow for diving, so pool owners may be liable for injuries if they fail to post warning signs.

A pool owner (or others) may also be liable for defective or damaged drains, ladders, slides, or diving boards, for failure to provide safety equipment, or for failure to properly maintain the pool chemicals.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every day about ten people in the US die from unintentional drowning.  Drowning is fifth among the leading causes of unintentional death for adults.

20% of drowning victims are children under the age of 15.  For every child who dies from drowning, another five children require emergency room care for drowning accidents.

Drowning is second among the leading causes of unintentional death for children.  As noted above, the risk of drowning for African-American children is far higher than for white children.

Non-fatal drowning accidents can cause severe brain damage.  Brain damage due to drowning can lead to:

  • Memory  problems
  • Learning disabilities
  • Coma (persistent vegetative state)

Men and boys are far more likely than women and girls to be drowning victims.  Eighty percent of people who die from drowning are male.

The risk of drowning in a swimming pool is increased by things like:

  • Inability to swim
  • Lack of barriers around a pool
  • Lack of proper supervision
  • Failure to wear flotation devices (if unable to swim)
  • Alcohol use
  • Seizure disorders

Other Swimming Pool Accidents

Drowning is not the only risk associated with swimming pools.  Other risks include:

  • Slip-and-fall accidents on pool decks, in changing rooms, and in other wet areas
  • Tripping over objects left near the pool, such as pool toys
  • Broken necks and backs from diving into a too-shallow pool
  • Being hit by a diving board – or a diver
  • Being caught in a drain
  • Illness caused by fecal contamination in the water
  • Poisoning caused by improper use of pool chemicals
  • Electrocution caused by unsafe wiring, pumps, or lights
  • Being struck by lightning during a thunderstorm

Personal Injury Attorney Phoenix Arizona: Who is liable for a swimming pool injury?

People and entities potentially liable for swimming pool injuries include:

  • Property owners
  • Pool equipment manufacturers
  • Pool maintenance companies
  • Makers of pool chemicals
  • Cleaning companies
  • Lifeguards

If you’re a swimming pool owner, check your pool for hazards and stay safe this summer! Call a Personal Injury Attorney Phoenix Arizona if you need representation. Dial 480-634-7480.


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