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One of the most emotionally difficult cases I ever handled was on behalf of the parents of a little girl who drowned in a neighbor’s swimming pool. The tragedy seemed to happen in an instant but the impact on two families will last a lifetime. Swimming pools are dangerous.

Whether they are in homes or commercial settings, any property owner with a pool must be safety conscious and must exercise constant vigilance. Many children drown in pool accidents each year and many more are treated for life-threatening immersion injuries. Remember that a pool can be inviting to a small child who wanders near when no adult is present. Some basic safety measures which should be taken include making sure that pool barriers and covers are adequate, keeping the water clear, ensuring that there are no underwater traps, keeping basic rescue equipment at poolside and making sure a telephone is nearby – this is a partial list. Be sure that your pool is in compliance with any applicable local ordinances. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has written a summary report on steps to prevent swimming pool drowning deaths. Safety tips can also be found in literature of the National Safety Council and other safety organizations. Swimming pool deaths are all the more tragic because most are preventable.

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