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Florida Still Leads Nation in Number of Drowning Children

Pool

Florida still leads the nation in losing more children to drowning every year—more than any other state and, according to recent reporting from the Miami Herald (which quoted figures from the USA Swimming Foundation), there was a 20 percent increase between the number of children who drowned in Florida pools or spas between 2016 and 2017.

Most-all drownings involve children under the age of 15, with 80 percent of them (hundreds) being under the age five. Sadly, Florida is not alone in these statistics: On a national scale, drowning continues to be the leading cause of death in children ages one through four; indicating that we still have not dedicated enough resources to addressing whatever negligence is leading to drowning-related injuries and deaths in our nation’s youngest children.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Pool Safely Guidelines

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends taking the following measures to ensure that you and your children are safe near the water this year, including but not limited to:

  • Enrolling children in learn-to-swim programs: A reported 80 percent or so of children living in households with incomes less than $50,000 have little-to-no swimming abilities. According to the Foundation, formal swimming lessons can decrease the chances of children drowning by close to 90 percent;
  • Learning how to perform CPR on both children and adults;
  • Ensuring that you are diligent in watching children any time they are near water, and never leaving a child unattended;
  • Designating at least one individual to be a “water watcher” to supervise children when they are in a body of water;
  • Keeping children away from areas that include pool drains, pipes, and similar openings to avoid them becoming entrapped; and
  • Ensuring that any pool that you attend with your children complies with federal safety standards, especially when it comes to drain covers.

Pools That Fail To Abide By Requirements

In addition to the requirements set forth in federal legislation mandating requirements for public pools and spas, Florida law also has very particular requirements when it comes to the setup and safety of pools, including the placement of barriers between the pool and associated building, safety pool covers, exit alarms, devices on any doors and gates with direct access to the pool, etc. If your child is injured or killed in a pool that has failed to comply with basic, legally-mandated requirements, and the injury or death is connected to that oversight, it is possible that this behavior could be found to constitute negligence per se. 

Florida Drowning Injury & Wrongful Death Attorneys

Ten people drown each day in the United States alone. If you or a loved one has suffered due to negligence that resulted in a drowning injury or death, contact one of our experienced Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers at Friedland & Associates today to discuss how we can help—you are welcome to a free consultation.

Resources:

miamiherald.com/news/state/florida/article193776489.html

cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/361.pdf

floridabuilding.org/fbc/publications/Fact_Sheets_0307/ResidentialPoolSafety060305revised.pdf

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