Protect your Throne – Fun in the Sun Edition
It’s been said for millennia that your home is your castle. And much like castles from medieval times, your home is riddled with hazards that could lead you, your family, or your guest injured or hurt. As a homeowner, you’re legally responsible for whatever happens on your property, so it’s important to be aware of what those exposures are and how to avoid an avoidable claim against you.
That’s why we’re starting a new blog series at Vero, one aimed at helping you Protect your Throne. And with warmer weather on its way, we’ll start by looking at some of the hazardous structures outside of your castle. Here are a couple of the most found outdoor exposures on a homeowner’s property and some tips to help prevent a liability claim against you and, most importantly, prevent someone from getting hurt.
You won’t find too many pictures of a medieval castle with a trampoline by the moat, but you will find that trampolines are found in the yards of many homeowners. That’s because trampolines can be fun and a good source of exercise and athletic training for some. For others, trampolines are considered dangerous, and for good reason.
According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2018 there were 110,000 visits to an emergency room for trampoline-related injuries. Emergency room visits accounted for 1/3 of medically treated trampoline injuries that year. The most common victim of trampoline-related injuries is children, with over 90 % of trampoline-related incidents involving children aged 5-14 years. Most of these injuries involve arm or leg bone fractures, which makes sense considering most of the injuries are the result of a fall.
Here are a few simple preventative measures you can take to prevent a trampoline-related injury:
- Make sure your trampoline is properly maintained. That means making sure the support bars, springs, netting, and trampoline surface are free from tears, corrosion, and rust, all of which can weaken the structure and increase the likelihood of an accident or fall.
- Make sure padding covers all springs and support bars, use a trampoline net if possible
- Don’t allow young children to use the trampoline
- Always have someone, often called a “spotter,” supervising any trampoline activity
- Only allow one person on the trampoline at a time to avoid collisions
- Always place your trampoline on level ground and away from other structures, preferably over a soft surface like grass
Whether your castle has a moat or swimming pool, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of having open water on your property. Much like trampolines, swimming pools can be a great source of fun and exercise but should be used with caution and supervision. The Center of Disease Control estimates from 2005 to 2014 that 10 people died per day from drowning, with one in five of those deaths belonging to children 14 and younger. Even nonfatal drownings can be severe and cause lifelong injury, such as permanent brain damage, memory problems, learning disabilities, and decreased or loss of motor skills. That’s why we recommend implementing the following poolside safety measures to prevent drownings before it’s too late.
- Observe the buddy system while swimming, never swim alone or unsupervised
- Never allow a child to swim or be near the pool unsupervised
- Avoid distractions, pay attention, and know the signs of a swimmer in distress
- Learn CPR – The more quickly a drowning victim is revived, the better chance of improved outcomes
- Encourage those who do not know how to swim to take swimming lessons
- Use a pool ladder or steps to enter the pool
- Never dive into shallow water or jump from dangerous heights and structures
- Refrain from alcohol use
- If possible, properly secure your pool area with a locked gate and fence. This will help prevent children from accidentally falling in the pool when no one else is around.
With warmer weather on its way, it’s important to know the dangers lurking around your property and how to prevent accidents from happening. We may have come a long way from the days of medieval castles, but the idea of protecting your throne remains the same.
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