Maryland Swimming pool deaths should decline and here is why.



At Clark and Steinhorn, we encounter a broad array of personal injury and wrongful death cases and swimming pools can be the culprits. It is not that the pools themselves are the problem it is their unsupervised use by poor swimmers that seems to recurrently figure into such cases.

Many such cases tragically involve youngsters who find their way into the backyard pools of neighbors and climb in the pool unbeknownst to their parents or the pool owners. These cases are tough to prevent but obviously most jurisdictions require that home pools be completely surrounded by a fence and that the gates have self-closing mechanisms at a height that toddlers can't reach.

For commercial apartment complex or community pools there are similar such requirements with the additional mandate that when the pool is open a lifeguard must be present. The lifeguards must be certified and depending upon the size of the pool and number of users, there may be requirements for more than one lifeguard on duty at the time.

The problem is that sometimes the lifeguards aren't there or are distracted and this often is the origin of trouble. It is vitally important that pool users who observe that no lifeguard is present or observe lifeguards who are way from their posts or are texting the whole time, call the pool owners or management team and make them aware of the issue. Not every properly certified lifeguard is mature enough to recognize the importance of their duties.

An e-mail to follow up on the problem puts the pool operator in the position of having to respond or face problems with state, local and municipal governments. The bottom-line is that a pool is only as safe as its lifeguard and the absence of one can prove deadly.

Pool equipment is also an important area and the following list is the present state requirement:

1. Complte first aid kit;

2. CPR mask;

3. Disposable latex gloves;

4. Bloodborne pathogen control kit;

5. A backboard with head demobilizer;

6. Rescue tubes;

7. 10 foot pole;

8. Automated external defibrillator

The  automated external defibrillator is a recent addition,  the result of so-called Connor's Law. As discussed in the past, Connor's Law emanates from a tragic drowning case at Crofton Country Club.

Ultimately, drowning deaths can be reduced through good sense on the part of pool users and an insistence that public and commercial pool operators and owners strctly adhere to the laws that govern them.

Robert V. Clark
Maryland Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer