Drowning accidents happen more often than they should in Oceanside and other parts of San Diego County. While many drowning accidents happen at the beach when swimmers are just off the shore, drowning accidents can also occur with some frequency in home swimming pools. In particular, pools can pose serious risks to child safety when they do not have proper guards or barriers. Recognizing the dangers of swimming pool accidents to young children, Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law the Pool Safety Act (SB 442), according to a recent report from PR Newswire. That law took effect on January 1, 2018, and it “requires new or remodeled pools and spas to have two of seven child protective safety barriers.”
Will the new law help to prevent avoidable drowning accidents in Southern California?
Drowning is a Leading Cause of Death Among California Children
According to the report, numerous agencies including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) cite drowning as the second-leading cause of death for kids in California who are between the ages of one and four. Between 2010 and 2014, “more than 160 children one to four years of age, inclusive, suffered fatal drowning, with the majority of the incidents involving residential pools.”
In addition to drowning deaths, many children in the state have also sustained severe and debilitating injuries. During the period between 2010 and 2015, more than 740 kids in that same age group were hospitalized with injuries caused by a near-drowning incident in a residential pool. Near-drowning accidents can be devastating, often leading to serious and permanent brain injury due to asphyxiation.
How the Pool Safety Act can Help
As we mentioned above, the Pool Safety Act requires that new or renovated homes with residential swimming pools have at least two of the seven child protection features listed in the statute. These features help to keep kids from accidentally falling into a pool, which is how most drowning deaths occur in young children. The law specifically states that all private single-family residential pools must have at least two of the following drowning prevention safety features:
- Enclosure that isolates the pool from the private single-family home;
- Removable mesh fencing with a self-closing and self-latching gate;
- Approved safety pool cover;
- Exit alarms on doors to the home that provide direct access to the pool and issue a noise or verbal warning;
- Self-closing, self-latching device with a release mechanism on the home’s doors that lead to the pool;
- Alarm that alerts when someone enters the swimming pool or spa; and
- Another means of protection that is of equal or greater protection to those listed in the law.
Contact an Oceanside Drowning Accident Lawyer
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(image courtesy of Ryan Wilson)