Swimming pools need to be safe for young children

Taking your child to a swimming pool can be a great way to spend the weekend. Your children will be able to engage in a fun activity while getting exercise and practicing a valuable skill at the same time. However, swimming pools always present dangers, whether it is in a hotel, gym facility or a family's yard.

If your child was injured when at a swimming pool, you may have the right to take action against the premises on which the swimming pool was located. This is because a premises owner has liability for any injury that takes place on their property if they can be shown to have been at fault in some way.

What responsibilities does a premises have?

A premises has a responsibility to keep a visitor safe if they are legally on the property and are not trespassing. However, the premises owner may still have legal liability for any injuries even if a person was trespassing. For example, if a person has a private yard with a swimming pool, a child may easily be able to trespass on the property and use the pool. If this possibility is known to the property owner, any hazards that led to an injury may still be the fault of the premises depending on the exact circumstances.

A swimming pool should always have a "designated watcher" when young children are playing in a pool. This is true for social activities in a yard, and at a public pool. Surfaces surrounding the pool should also be slip-proof, because many pool accidents actually result from slips and falls when children are walking or running on wet floors.

What can a premises owner do to prevent accidents?

Pools should have fences installed around them. This will prevent young children from being able to access the pool from a house. Pool covers should never be partially used, because this can lead to a child becoming trapped underneath it. Most importantly, young children should never be allowed to use a pool unattended.

If you want to take action against the owner or management of a premises because your child was injured, it is important that you understand more about the law and that you are proactive in your approach.

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