Illinois offers an array of water-related recreational activities such as boating, kayaking and jet skiing. However, there have been numerous cases of boating accidents reported in the state with some of the people involved suffering injuries such as head, neck and spinal cord injuries. In some unfortunate cases, boating accidents have led to fatalities. Because of this, some local residents try to avoid going to lakes and choose alternative places such as swimming pools and spas for their recreational activities.
Swimming pools and spas can be dangerous places for children aged 1 to 14. Based on a new report, 202 children in that age group died in swimming pools and spas this year. The drowning incidents recorded were from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Illinois is one of the states with the highest incidents of pool and spa drowning involving children under the age of 15.
To prevent incidents of drowning in public pools and spas, the Chicago Health Department may conduct inspections on these properties. The inspection should cover the verification of permits and licenses as well as checking safety equipment. For private pool owners, they must maintain a clear deck at all times. They should also accompany children while swimming to prevent drowning and serious injuries.
In public pools, there should be an assigned water watcher who will refrain from any form of distraction, such as texting or reading. The watcher should also be experienced at performing CPR. Finally, the management should also prevent the children from swimming near pipes and pool drains, which can trap them.
In the event of a drowning in a public swimming pool or someone’s private pool, the property owner may be held liable for the damages. The victim may seek damages by filing a Chicago personal injury lawsuit against the presumed negligent party. Just like any personal injury case, the plaintiff has to prove that there was negligence that contributed to the accident, injury or fatality.
Source: The State Journal, “At least 202 children drowned this year in U.S. pools and spas,” Judy Mattingly, Sep. 16, 2013