No doubt about it, pools are appealing, but they are also risky. It is the responsibility of the pool owner to take necessary safety precautions to prevent drownings. Because of the potential for liability and the responsibility to protect all who use and/or visit the pool and its surrounding area, it is crucial that pool administrators comply with all local, state and federal requirements. Pool signage and fencing are an absolute must! Keeping emergency communication devices near the pool, first aid kits, and safety devices as well as ensuring staff is properly trained and certified may not completely eliminate the liability of the pool, but they will; however, help prevent accidents and provide evidence that the hotel has exercised “reasonable care” to reduce danger to guests. This article from Fox news, Michelle Pekarsky and Robert Townsend is a reminder of how important pool safety and compliance are!
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Northland hotel pool where a two-year-old boy drowned on Friday, July 31, was shut down on Monday by Kansas City Health Dept. inspectors due to safety and sanitary violations.
Authorities say the two-year-old boy was found face-down in a Days Inn Hotel, 7100 NE Parvin Road, pool Friday afternoon at about 5:00 p.m.
The child, identified only as a two-year-old boy named Jordan, was taken by ambulance to an area hospital where he later died. A family friend told FOX 4 that the boy had been playing with two other little boys at the pool. She says one of the boys jumped on top of him and pushed him over, causing the child to take in too much water.
Kansas City’s Health Department’s deputy director says as a result of the boy’s death, a health inspector went back to inspect the pool. The inspector stayed for more than an hour and found 12 code violations, although they weren’t unusual citations, according to Deputy Director Bert Malone. Among the safety and sanitary violations, the inspector says a hand rail in the pool’s shallow area does not extend over all steps.
There were also not any emergency signs for a ring buoy, shepherd’s crook, or a 911 sign. Chlorine levels were also not correct. He says they also discovered the pool water temperature was below 70 degrees.
“I think that’s fairly consistent with what we generally will find in a seasonal pool,” Malone said. There were a number of issues related to the bathroom.. wasn’t cleaned. There were insects present.”
The hotel pool remained closed Tuesday. Health inspectors said 10 of the 12 violations were corrected, but operators were still correcting the water quality issues and also trying to stop the pool from backwashing water into the grass.
On Monday, Aug. 3, Wyndham Hotel Group sent FOX 4 the following statement about the child’s death.
We are terribly saddened by last week’s tragic event and our thoughts and prayers are with the child’s family and loved ones. The safety and welfare of our guests is always our top priority. We require that all of our individually owned and operated properties comply with all local, state and federal laws and regulations. Please know that we are reviewing the health department’s report with the hotel’s owners and will work with them as they take the appropriate actions to help ensure guest safety.
– Kathryn Zambito, Director of Public Relations for Wyndham Hotel Group
“We’ve never had to my knowledge in the last two years any complaints about that specific pool,” said Malone.