Georgia residents who own a swimming pool or spa may be looking forward to the summer. However, they should keep in mind that pools and spas can pose a safety hazard, especially for toddlers. In June 2019, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission came out with a report saying that drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death among 1- to 4-year-olds in the U.S. As for those aged 5 to 19, the leading cause is transportation accidents.

Between 2014 and 2016, the CPSC discovered that there were 363 pool- or spa-related drowning episodes in the U.S. that involved children under 15. Of the fatalities, 74% were children under 5. June, the month that the CPSC released its report as well as the beginning of summer, sees the highest rate of drowning fatalities.

Since 72% of these fatal incidents occur in residential areas, according to the report, it is important that families be vigilant. Parents should not leave toddlers unsupervised in the backyard. There should always be a “water watcher,” as the CPSC puts it in its newly created Pool Safely Pledge. This pledge provides a set of guidelines for parents. Among those guidelines is the recommendation that parents learn CPR, put up fences around the pool and remove pool ladders after use.

Parents need to keep a watch over guests, too, as they may be held liable if another’s child sustains an injury or dies in a preventable accident. The parents of a victim may want to see an attorney who practices premises liability law. After a case evaluation, it should become clear whether the family has good grounds for a case. If they do, the attorney may have investigators look into the incident before proceeding to negotiations for a settlement.