African-American Children Five Times More Likely to Die in Swimming Pool Accidents

According to a story broadcast on National Public Radio (NPR),

Swimming pool drowning rates among school-aged black children are more than five times higher than they are among white kids the same age.

According to experts, the main reason why African-American children drown at higher rates is that many don’t have regular access to public swimming pools. Thus, they are less likely to have basic swimming skills and more likely to drown when they do go in the water.

Wherever there are swimming pools, there are swimming pool accidents. The accident rate naturally increases during the summer months.

According to the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, between 1990 and 2005 more than 800 people died of water-related injuries in the state.

Most water-related deaths are due to drowning. Thirteen percent involve watercraft or people diving or jumping into water. For example, people can be killed when they dive into pools that are too shallow and break their necks when they hit the bottom. A minimum of five feet of water is recommended for diving.

More than 80% of water-related fatal injury victims are male. The highest death rate is for those ages one to four and 15-24.

Injury claims for swimming pool accidents are based on the law of “premises liability.”Under the “attractive nuisance” doctrine, property owners must keep pools safe from young children who may not be able to swim or understand the danger of drowning.

New Jersey law required that pools be completely enclosed with fences with self-closing and self-latching gates.

Some risks, such as the danger of slipping and falling on the wet surface around a pool, may be considered so obvious that a pool owner would not be liable to a guest who failed to use reasonable caution when in the pool area.

However, a pool owner may be liable for things like defective drains, electrical hazards, or broken slides or diving boards that cause injuries.

If you have been injured, or if a loved one has been injured or killed, in a swimming pool accident a Bergen County personal injury attorney can help. At the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Hasson, P.C. we offer free initial consultations. Our attorneys can be contacted at (201) 834-7043 or through our online contact form.