Posted by Patrick M. Regan and Paul Cornoni
A 5-year-old girl tragically died last weekend in an apparent drowning at a crowded College Park community pool operated by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. This horrible story was published recently in the Washington Post.
In addition to the 50-meter pool, the aquatics center has a baby pool, but the girl was found in a 2-foot-deep area of the larger pool. The shallow end is separated from the deep end by a rope at a depth of about 3 1/2 feet. Witnesses have stated that in the minutes before the girl was found unconscious and not breathing, lifeguards reported seeing several children and "normal play activity" in the shallow end of the pool.
Tragically, similar incidents happen each summer. Although the cause of this event has not yet been identified, Regan Zambri & Long has handled several similar incidents. These incidents are usually due to a number of factors including: (1) poor supervision by lifeguards; (2) negligent training of pool staff and personnel; as well as (3) inadequate number of lifeguards for the amount of children in the pool.
A few important safety tips for parents as published by mychildsafety.net:
- Always keep your swimming pools fenced and locked.
- Pool owners should invest in a pool alarm.
- Always remove covers from pools before swimming. Partially covered pools are dangerous and crucial to children’s water safety.
- Never take your eyes off your child even if he/she isn’t swimming.
- Make sure diving boards are securely anchored and well constructed.
For information about this topic or your legal rights, please click here or call the law firm of Regan Zambri & Long, PLLC at 202-759-6699.