Penelope Thomas, a 1-year-old girl, suffered fatal injuries in a swimming pool accident at a Huntington Beach home. According to The Orange County Register, the incident occurred the morning of August 29, 2012 in the 6800 block of Seaway Circle. When emergency personnel arrived, the child was in the pool and was not responsive. The girl was transported to an area hospital where she was pronounced dead. It is not clear how the child fell into the pool. Earlier this week, 6-year-old Tony Avina Jr. died after he drowned in the pool of an apartment complex in Fountain Valley. The boy was with family visiting residents of the complex and had been playing with friends in the pool at the time.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family members of Penelope Thomas for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Swimming Pool Accident Statistics
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children between the ages of 1 and 4 have the highest drowning rates. In the year 2009, in that age group, among children who died from an unintentional injury, 30 percent drowned. Most drowning incidents in this age group also occur in home swimming pools. Drowning is responsible for more deaths among children 1 to 4 years old than any other cause except birth defects.
The best way to prevent a drowning is to provide constant supervision to children who have access to a swimming pool. Doors leading to the backyard and the pool should be kept locked at all times. Even doggie doors should be closed off. All pool areas should be surrounded on all sides by a fence. Toys and other attractive items to children should be kept away from the pool area. The pool area should have a working gate that is kept locked at all times. By providing these “layers of safety” and of course, constant supervision, it is possible to prevent these terrible tragedies.
Liability in Swimming Pool Accidents
If a child is injured on your property and in your swimming pool, remember, you could be held liable. Injured swimming pool accident victims can seek compensation for their injuries, damages and losses. In cases where a defective product causes a drowning, the manufacturer of the defective product can also be held liable. If your child has been injured in a swimming pool accident, please contact an experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.