One of the great features of any hotel when you are on vacation with your family is an outdoor pool. Even for visitors to Rancho Bernardo who are planning to spend much of their time at the beach, if you are staying at a hotel with a pool, there is a good chance that you and your children will enjoy some time by the poolside. However, pools can be extremely dangerous, and children especially can sustain serious hotel injuries at a pool. While drowning due to swimming inexperience or slipping and falling typically is the primary concern when it comes to hotel pool injuries, there are other ways that guests can get hurt while enjoying the water. Specifically, pool drain accidents and pool filter accidents happen more often than you might think.
Hotel Pools and Circulation Entrapments in Drains
Pools and hot tubs at hotels have drain systems and filter systems that are designed to clean the water and to create circulation. While these systems help to ensure that hotel guests are swimming in clean water, they can also lead to serious personal injuries if proper safety precautions are not taken or if these devices do not undergo regular maintenance. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) refers to many of these injuries that lead to drowning deaths as “circulation entrapments.” In such situations, an injured guest may be able to file a hotel negligence claim.
As an article in the New York Daily News clarifies, “the suction created by the drains [in pools and hot tubs] can trap children under the surface or catch limbs, in some cases causing serious injury or death.” Indeed, according to a spokesperson for the Pool Safety Council, “the force of a drain on a residential pool has a weight of at least 500 pounds.” Every year, 390 children under the age of 15, on average, suffer fatal injuries in “pool or spa-related submersion injuries,” with many of these accidents involving pool drains and filters. More than 50% of these injuries occur at public pools or hotel pools.
Between the years 2008 and 2012, pool drain injuries were responsible for a total of 39 emergency department visits, and most of the victims were children. They suffered from a variety of injuries, including drowning symptoms, fractured bones, and intestinal prolapse. At least two children during that period died from their injuries. A 7-year-old girl recently suffered a near-fatal drowning after her hair got caught in a swimming pool filter, according to an article in News.com.
Pool Drain Accidents can be Prevented When Hotels Take Proper Safety Measures
Pools drains need to be inspected regularly, or else they can come loose. As the article emphasizes, many newer pools have domed drain covers that are designed to prevent these types of injuries, but even this type of drain cover can lead to a circulation entrapment if it is not checked often by hotel maintenance. In some cases, the screws come loose, and in others they become rusty and the drain cover comes off.
If a child does get stuck in a pool drain, it is important to avoid trying to life the child directly off the train. To be sure, “the force of the suction makes that impossible.” What should parents or staff do? An adult should attempt to wedge their fingers between the drain and the child’s body, and then roll the child off the drain sideways.
Contact a Hotel Negligence Attorney in Rancho Bernardo
Hotels and motels have a duty to maintain pools properly, including drains and filters. If your child suffered an injury at a hotel or motel in Southern California, you should speak with a Rancho Bernardo hotel negligence lawyer about your options. Contact the Walton Law Firm to learn more about how we assist injury victims.
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(image courtesy of Ryan Wilson)