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Holiday Accidents Claim Children as Casualties

Simpson Millar are leading Holiday Accident Solicitors and speak out about the high number of accidents that occur on foreign holidays each year that can leave children severely injured.

When summer holidays arrive families look forward to precious time spent together relaxing by a pool or patio.

Regrettably for some their holiday will become a nightmare.

Accidents Can Happen

To the unsuspecting holidaymaker the glass patio or balcony doors at their holiday accommodation or hotel appear no different to those at home.

The swimming pool looks idyllic and perfectly safe.

Sadly every year children drown in swimming pools abroad and sustain the most horrific injuries caused by glass patio and balcony doors.

When abroad in a foreign country the standards of health and safety are different. In many countries, including European destinations, there is no requirement for a glass door to be constructed from safety glass.

Nick Harris, Holiday Accident Claims Manager at Simpson Millar Solicitors calls for tour operators to do more to alert unsuspecting parents and guardians to the danger of glass doors abroad:

“It seems to me a very simple and cheap method but why don’t tour operators insist that the hotels they use place prominent warning stickers on glass doors stating that the glass can shatter."

"Innocent holidaymakers presume that glass will be the same as the glass in their homes and children will bump into the glass without any fear – which is why so many accidents happen each year resulting in horrendous injuries.”

Breaking Glass – An Everyday Accident at Hotels Abroad

Nick suggests some precautions that can reduce the risk of glass related accidents on holiday:

  • Children should never be left unattended in rooms with full length glass doors
  • Never allow children to run inside holiday accommodation – floors are often made of marble or tiled and are slippery
  • You should resist the temptation to push open or close glass doors by pressing against the glass
  • If there are heavy curtains draw them to add a protective barrier
  • Be aware that sunlight can be deceptive and make glass doors appear to be open

Along with glass accidents on holiday involving children swimming pools are also a danger that all too often cause catastrophic injury and in far too many cases death.

Stay Safe - Pool Safety Abroad

The swimming pool is an allurement to children and parents arriving at hotels tired from travelling and wanting to unpack and unwind drop their guard when children are excited at the prospect of splashing around in the hotel’s pool, plead and get their way.

It is a fact that the majority of drowning accidents involving children at hotels abroad happen on the first day of the holiday and many within hours of arrival.

Unusual swimming pool designs and in many countries the lack of a lifeguard leave unsupervised children in peril.

Nick Harris has dealt with drowning incidents and finds these often the most difficult holiday cases he has to deal with.

“The first thing I would say to any parent of guardian is no matter how persistent your children are don’t let them out of your sight. Drowning can happen in a split second.”

There are sensible precautions you can take to minimise the risk of an accident and Nick suggests the following:

  • Don’t take it for granted that there will be a lifeguard on duty and don’t trust that a lifeguard will always be as observant as you might hope
  • Always supervise children both in and near pools
  • Try to observe pool rules. They are there to protect you and other bathers
  • Check out the pool for depth changes as pools abroad are often unusual and may change depth unexpectedly
  • Never dive into water that is less than 1.5 metres deep
  • If you have just eaten don’t attempt to swim and never swim if you have been drinking alcohol
  • Poolsides are slippery so running is a definite no
  • Make sure you know what to do in an emergency – not just for your own sake but perhaps another bather

Find Out About Holiday Accident Compensation

Nick specializes in helping holidaymakers to claim compensation for holiday accidents that happen at hotels abroad resulting in a personal injury.

If you have had an accident on holiday that was not your fault and would like to find out about making a holiday accident compensation claim get in with Nick and his team of highly skilled holiday claims lawyers.

Freephone: 0808 145 1353 or drop us a line using the form above.

Useful Information:

Dated: 17/03/2011

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