On Saturday morning two twin toddler girls were found dead after drowning in a swimming pool at their home in Lynnfield, Massachusetts. Lynnfield police responded to a 911 call on Saturday morning about two children that had fallen into the pool. The two girls, Veronica and Angelina Andreottola, were rushed to the hospital. Lynnfield firefighters spent 13 minutes performing CPR on the two toddlers but unfortunately, according to officials, it was too late. The girls were pronounced dead upon arrival at Union Hospital. Officials report that the mother of these two toddlers was home at the time of the incident but no foul play seems to have occurred.
The twin girls apparently fell underneath the inground pool cover and drowned. Products like these that are seemingly safe to use can be potentially life threatening. Manufacturers must be more prudent to ensure that the products that they release into the streams of commerce do not have the potential to cause harm in the foreseeable environment of end-use. For example, many pool covers are intended to provide protection for homeowners from children accessing the water. The risk of catastrophic injury or wrongful death due to hazardous pool safety covers and devices is too great, and the consequences too dire, to demand anything less than the promise of a safe home pool environment.
While the investigation of these tragic drowning is ongoing, and the cause is to be determined, the grim scenario is a harsh reminder that defective products lead to hazards that can cause drowning, suffocation, strangulation, fire or other personal injuries. The first line of defense for such products is manufacturing them free of defects, with thorough and adequate pre-market testing. While recalls after such tragedies are important, manufacturers and retailers must do a better job of discovering defects before their products reach consumers, so related deathscan be avoided.
Pool covers are often marketed and sold as safety devices to protect children. The CPSC, for example, has released numerous warnings regarding the hazards of solar and other pool covers. Consumers of these products must be aware of the dangers that the products may pose, and manufacturers must do a better job of eliminating foreseeable risks.