Many great childhood memories are made at the swimming pool during the summer. However, with drowning as the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children under the age of 14, private pool owners in Henry, Spalding and Lamar counties need to take steps necessary to protect themselves and their guests. Pool owners are generally held to a high standard of liability because they are responsible for keeping the pool area safe. This liability applies to homeowners, hotels or any organization that owns and maintains a pool. Here are the top five ways that pool owners can increase safety and reduce their own liability: 1. Proper Fencing and Barriers: The best way to reduce water related accidents in pools is to install adequate barriers preventing children from entering the pool. Pools should be enclosed on four sides with a self-locking and closing fence. Georgia law requires fences to be at least 4 feet tall, start no more than 4 inches from the ground, and vertical bars be no more than 4 inches apart. 2. Supervision: No child should be in the pool unsupervised even if they know how to swim. Drowning happens quickly and quietly. By the time a child?s absence is noted, they could have already drowned. Children ages 1 ? 4 have the highest drowning rates. 3. Lifesaving Devices: A pole, rope and personal flotation device are recommended for proper lifesaving. These items should be easily accessible and all property owners and adults should know how to use the devices. It is also recommended that parents and supervising adults know First Aid and CPR. 4. Inspect All Drain Covers: In 2008, the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act went in effect in response to the number of accidents caused by faulty drain covers. Missing or broken drain covers can trap a swimmers hair or clothing causing drowning or serious injury. 5. Pool Maintenance: Maintaining chlorine and pH levels is necessary in preventing illness. Water not treated properly can cause a Recreational Water Illness contracted by swallowing, breathing or simply being in contact with contaminated water. However, these chemicals can also pose a risk if used improperly or without protective gear. Therefore, handlers should be trained and chemicals should be stored safely. If you or a loved one has been injured in someone’s private pool, you need an experienced attorney at your side. For more information on this topic, or for a free personal injury consultation, email attorney John Webb at jwebb@smithwelchlaw.com or call 770-389-4864. Smith, Welch, Webb and White is recognized as a premier law firm throughout the state of Georgia. Our team of experts routinely handles a wide range of legal matters, and will provide outstanding service for you, your family or your business.   Any representations regarding the law in this Blog is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog publisher. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

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