By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
A near drowning incident of a 2 year old (Jessica Wheat) in an apartment complex pool in Lake Charles, Louisiana shows the importance of safety precautions and measures for swimming pools that can be accessed by children. There was a four foot fence around the pool at the Wilshire Apartments which was undergoing renovation. In fact, the pool had been closed for about 1 year. Unfortunately, someone had removed some of the fence near the locked gate. This, in turn, had given access to Jessica to get into the pool.
The reason for proper barriers, fences, and safety measures is to protect children from serious personal injuries and wrongful death. It is well known that children will wander. Children are curious and think of pools and other areas as places of adventure rather than places of danger. These attractive nuisances need to be safeguarded to prevent tragedies like the Jessica Wheat incident from taking place. You can read more about the Jennifer Wheat incident at Near Drowning at Lake Charles, Louisiana Apartment Complex. The near drowning incident put Jennifer Wheat in critical condition and into the Memorial Hospital.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that between 300 and 350 children drown every year in swimming pools. Most of the incidents took place while the child was being supervised by a parent. Furthermore, the drowning incidents typically involved inattention by the supervising parent or adult for five minutes or less.
Because of the shear danger of drownings and swimming pools, it is vital for Louisiana parents, caregivers, and adults responsible for the supervision of children to be diligent at all times for the safety, protection, and welfare of children. Children die every year in public pools, neighbor’s and friend’s pools and, yes, at home. You can read about a tragic death that took place in Houma, Louisiana at Grieving Louisiana Family Aims to Get Swimming Pool Law in Effect.
Whether there is a law in your State requiring a barrier or fence or not, all pool owners including homeowners, hotels, motels, and resorts should take reasonable precautions to prevent drowning deaths and serious injuries to children.