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When the Home of Swimming Pools and Movie Stars Turns Deadly

  • Sep 20 2013
  • Gilleon Law Firm

During a party of 100 people in Orange County earlier this year, a two-year old boy drowned in the backyard pool.  None of the partygoers heard or saw the toddler fall into the pool. They only noticed him unconscious there and called for an ambulance. The toddler was rushed to Placentia-Linda Hospital but was later, tragically, pronounced dead.

California Swimming Pool Safety Act

The California Department of Public Health reports that in 2010, 1,393 people were treated for swimming pool accidents in the state.  To prevent such harm, the legislature enacted the California Swimming Pool Safety Act. Any swimming pool built at a private, single-family home after January 1, 2007, must possess one of the following safety features to prevent drowning:

  • The pool must be fully enclosed by a barrier that is a minimum height of 60 inches with a self-closing and self-latching device that is not lower than 60 inches from the ground.
  • The pool must have an approved removable mesh fencing and a gate that is self-closing and self-latching and can be secured with a key lockable device.
  • The pool must possess an approved safety pool cover.
  • All doors providing access from the home to the swimming pool must have a self-closing, self-latching device that is placed not lower than 54 inches from the floor.
  • The pool must be equipped with alarms that will sound upon detection of accidental or unauthorized entrance into the water.
  • The pool may have other safety features approved by the American Society for Testing Materials for swimming pool safety.

These safety features focus on preventing young children from wandering off and falling into the pool undetected.

Simple steps to protect others

In addition to the legal precautions prescribed by the Swimming Pool Safety Act, each San Diego family can take additional steps to promote safety. Families should not leave children unsupervised by the pool and should not serve alcohol poolside. In addition, families should take a water safety course and keep young swimmers within arm’s length. It’s also a good idea to have a phone handy to call paramedics if needed.

Swimming pools offer hours of enjoyment but they do require homeowners to be vigilant in maintaining safe pool areas. If you have been injured at a neighbor’s pool, consult with a San Diego personal injury attorney who has experience with swimming pool accidents.


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