Swimming pools are a fact of life in Arizona, given our sunny, hot climate. Unfortunately, drowning is the leading cause of injury death for children between the ages of one and four. In 2011, this age group represented more than half of the 32 drowning fatalities in the state. The vast majority of these deaths — 81 percent — occurred in a swimming pool. Surviving a near-drowning is also dangerous, since being underwater too long can result in brain damage. To address this problem, Arizona requires every residential property owner with a pool to implement strict safety measures.
The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) urges all pool owners to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or cardio-cerebral resuscitation (CCR). Their most important recommendation is to never leave a child unattended in or near a pool. Of course, this is easier said than done. Therefore, all pools must have the following:
- A secure fence or wall enclosing the pool
- Gates that open out and are self-latching
- A motorized safety pool cover
- Removal or secured steps or ladders for above-ground pools
Just as public pools and recreational areas are liable for accidents that occur when they fail to implement reasonable safety measures, Arizona residential property owners bear responsibility for keeping pools safe and secure in accordance with ADHS regulations. If your child is seriously injured in a residential pool accident, you should speak with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer about filing a claim for damages. At Begam & Marks, we can also help clients bring a wrongful death suit after a fatal pool accident.