The Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) says that public pools and spas are required to have signs warning of possible dangers. These signs must be easily visible within the pool area.
Unfortunately, warning signs are not required for privately owned pools. A 13-year-old teenager from Round Rock paid a severe price for not knowing how deep a pool was before diving into it.
Patrick Messer was at a pool party, which instantly took a turn for the worse. Messer dove headfirst into a pool that was less than four feet deep. He struck the bottom and suffered severe injuries that resulted in paralysis. In an interview with KVUE, he says, “I felt like my whole body was numb, I couldn’t feel from the neck down.”
After the accident, Messer spent months in the hospital rehabbing his injuries. Part of that time was in the ICU where he underwent two back surgeries.
Although he has regained movement in one of his arms, the recovery process will be a long one.
Should Privately Owned Pools Be Required to Have Warning Signs?
Private pools are not under the same safety regulations as public ones; they do not have to have warning signs or information on the depth of a pool.
After an accident like this, it makes us wonder whether laws should require warning information for all pools.
For instance, the TDSHS requires pools to display “NO DIVING” signs in areas where it is unsafe to dive. The letters have to be at least four inches and it must display the international symbol for no diving as well.
Messer might not be paralyzed today had he received a warning to not dive in that section of the pool.
Did You Know? As of August, 54 children have drowned in Texas in 2014.
The Law Offices of Aaron Allison – Austin Personal Injury Attorney