Earlier this month, a 2-year-old was playing at a swimming pool while her family watched from the picnic area. Very suddenly, the toddler fell into the five-foot area of the swimming pool. According to a report filed by the toddler’s mother, the lifeguards began issuing instructions to the bystanders to go into the pool and retrieve the unconscious child from the bottom of the deep-end, rather than diving in themselves. After the child was retrieved, the 14 lifeguards on duty also failed to perform CPR, instead forfeiting that responsibility to an off-duty nurse who fortunately just happened to be present at the time of this drowning accident.
The family tried to file complaints to the City of Austin, but were never even called back or had their complaint acknowledged. The Aquatic Program Manager for the City of Austin, who was not present at the time of the swimming pool accident, insisted to KVUE the lifeguards quickly responded to a difficult situation.
Now, the family is suing the City of Austin for $100,000 claiming the city is negligent in training lifeguards, which is a very scary concept for the thousands of families that visit swimming pools during the sweltering Texas summers.
Swimming Pool Owners are Expected to Maintain a Safe Environment
Taking the family out to the swimming pool can make for a fun day. However, when swimming pools do not meet safety standards, serious injuries and deaths can occur. According to the National Safe Kids campaign, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death among children ages one to four. Each year, approximately 5,000 kids 14-years-old and under are taken to a hospital due to near-drowning accidents. Children who are near-drowning victims can suffer from pneumonia, acute respiratory stress syndrome, major organ systems shutting down and brain damage from a lack of oxygen.
In these unfortunate instances where a child drowns, it is possible the swimming pool does not have proper drainage protection systems and children may become trapped. In other instances, a lack of lifeguard supervision or proper pool maintenance is to blame.
Hopefully, this lawsuit brought against the City of Austin by a traumatized family will help increase the quality of lifeguard training and the city will crack down on swimming pool safety.
The Law Offices of Aaron Allison fight for drowning victims in the Austin, Texas area.