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Summer Pool Accidents and Liability Concerns

The start of summer is a very exciting time for kids and adults and with scorching heat waves bombarding Missouri; the pool is the place to be. Swimming pools are great places to relax and have fun with friends. However, homeowners need to take safety precautions to prevent pool injuries and potential safety hazards.

Swimming pool accidents can occur in seconds. If you are not prepared, these accidents can easily turn tragic. There are several pool safety issues, but drowning is the cause of 80 percent of pool-related injuries and deaths. Homeowners must closely monitor pool guests, especially children. Another possible hazard is unclean pool water, which may lead to water-related illnesses.

Premises Liability Issues

A swimming pool can easily be a liability issue. Homeowners are generally liable for any accidents and injuries that occur in their pool. Pool owners who fail to provide a safe pool area could find themselves the subject of a civil lawsuit.

Pool owners can reduce the chances that an accident will happen by taking proper precautions. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends the following:

  • Inspect the swimming pool to make sure it is in proper working order
  • Install a fence (at least four feet tall) around a pool or spa with self-closing gates and cover the pool when not in use
  • Learn CPR for adults and children
  • Have flotation devices and poles easily accessible
  • Use proper chemicals to keep pool water clean from bacteria
  • Closely supervise children

When pool owners do not take proper safety precautions, such as installing a fence they may face liability issues even if a trespassing child is injured in their pool. Any pool owner should make sure that their homeowner's insurance policy includes liability insurance for the pool.

Pools are a great way to cool off from the summer heat. However, homeowners should never forget the importance of taking safety precautions to prevent swimming pool accidents and injuries from occurring.

Source: Maryville Daily Forum, "Swimmers urged to play it safe this summer," Jesse Murphy, May 25, 2012.

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