Articles Posted in Child Safety

Florida has more than 1.5 millions swimming pools. Many of these are residential pools, but many resort, hotel and public pools and hot tubs are available for year-around enjoyment.

Our Florida swimming pool accident attorneys have noted small children are among those most at risk. This is particularly true for visiting family members and youngsters who do not have regular access to pools and may not have had proper swimming, safety and drowning-prevention training. Unfortunately, a recent report on the risks of young children drowning in the New York Times revealed the risks have not waned in recent years, despite frequent publications of the risks. 1077710_swimming_pool_3-300x199

The Times reports that the impact of 30 years of drowning prevention efforts appears to have plateaued, and in fact risks have increased for some racial minorities, including blacks and Hispanics.

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As the new school year begins, we want to talk about the importance of bus stop safety.

The vast majority of students in Lee, Collier, and Charlotte counties commute to and from school by bus. When we look at the risks, it’s important to understand that most serious and fatal injuries occur while students are walking to and from bus stops, or while waiting for a bus. Fewer than 10 percent of injuries occur while riding the bus.schoolbus3-300x225

Several fatal tragedies in recent years have cast a spotlight on the issue of bus stop safety. With so much at stake for children and parents, our injury lawyers are diligent in evaluating bus stop design and location as contributing factors in serious accidents. However, it’s important for parents to understand that there is much they can do to help protect their children during the morning and afternoon commute.

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Local athletes will begin reporting for fall sports training and the start of the school year is just around the corner, as South Florida enters the hottest and wettest two months of the year.

Schools and municipalities have made significant efforts when it comes to reducing the risk of lightning strikes, heat stroke, and other risks to students and teenage athletes after several high-profile tragedies in recent years. lightning11-240x300

In Lee County, both the school district and the parks department have installed lightning alert systems, which sound alarms and activate strobe lights when lightning is detected within 10 miles. All outdoor activities must stop. Students are even kept after school if afternoon storms threaten safety. Most coaches have also undergone training in identifying and treating heat sickness and heat stroke.

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With schools letting out for summer, kids are ready for a much deserved break. There is every evidence, after two years of COVID, that families are planning more trips and more gatherings with family and friends, than they have in recent years.

All of us at Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, wish all of you a safe and enjoyable summer. We urge you to pay particular attention to the risks associated with backyard swimming pools. Florida has nearly 1 million pools – more than anywhere else in the nation – and the start of summer is typically the most dangerous time of the year for drowning and near-drowning accidents. swimmingpool3-300x199

Florida law puts the responsibility for swimming pool safety on the homeowner by requiring locked fences, door alarms, and other safety features be installed on almost all private pools. When it comes to kids, Florida’s attractive nuisance doctrine may hold homeowners liable for serious or fatal injuries even if a child trespasses. The law recognizes property owners have an obligation to keep children safe from dangerous conditions on their properties that might entice them.

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There is perhaps nothing sweeter and more genuine than the utter delight of a child with a new toy.

At Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, we are a family of parents. We take particular care when working with children, whether in our offices, in the courtroom, or in working with the March of Dimes and holiday toy drives. But we also continue to monitor with concern the growing and evolving risks of product injuries involving children.

Nearly 200,000 children visited hospital emergency rooms last year because of toy-related injuries. Boys accounted for just over half of the injured. Three-quarters of those injured were children under the age of 14. Nearly half occurred to toddlers under the age of 4, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission.kidsplaying-300x214

It’s that time of year again when students head back to class. Whether attending Florida Gulf Coast University, another institute of higher learning, or heading to a private school or one of the more than 200 schools operated by the Lee, Collier or Charlotte county school districts, there are a number of things you can do to stay safe.

Our personal injury lawyers at Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys of the Injured, salute all of the men and women who work in education, whether in the classroom, school administration, or the hundreds of coaches, custodians, maintenance workers or support staff. Your work and commitment to our youth is always to be commended.

But our primary focus is always on the health and safety of our children and their families.

Water safety is in focus as we head into summer.

COVID has increased the risks on a number of fronts: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports the number of boating fatalities increased 20 percent in 2020, while the media has reported on a number of drowning tragedies that have occurred in backyard pools.

Statewide, more than 800 serious boating accidents were reported.



There were three fatal incidents involving boats for people in Lee County. In Fort Myers Beach, a 45-year-old man drowned after falling off his boat in November. There were also boating accident fatalities reported in the waters off of Bokeelia and Fort Myers in 2020.

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Several recent swimming pool injuries have Southwest Florida safety advocates preaching caution as we continue to deal with COVID into the busy holiday season.swimming pool accident

In August, WINK News reported two children were recovering after a near-drowning incident in Cape Coral. Child drownings in Florida happen way too often. Twenty-three kids died in the water in 2019. In less than eight months, 29 more kids have drowned in Florida thus far this year. WINK News reported the family was visiting from out-of-state. In January, Cape Police investigated a separate incident involving toddlers ages 3 and 4 and there have been several other drowning deaths in Lee County this autumn.

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shoppingsafety-225x300Safety awareness in parking lots is a focus as we head into the busy year-end holiday season.

Back-to-school, early darkness, returning seasonal residents, and harried holiday shoppers will converge in local parking lots over the next six weeks. Statistically, it is the most dangerous time of the year for parking lot injuries. While northerns must also deal with the beginning of winter snow and ice, our injury attorneys in Fort Myers and Cape Coral know Southwest Floridans are far from immune to the risks.

Children are at highest risk of being seriously injured or killed. Those risks begin with the start of school year, with drop-off and pickup lines and continue into the year-end holiday shopping season. Elderly residents are also at elevated risk for accidents in parking lots.

The spookiest thing about Halloween might be the increased injury risks.

We wish you the best and hope you stay safe among the ghosts and goblins that will usher in the official start of  the holiday season. We’ve noticed a number of communities were already installing their holiday lights this week. Perhaps that’s fitting: As historic as it has been,  few will be sorry to see the end of 2020.halloween-1322330-300x225

The coronavirus pandemic might change Halloween some. But it’s a safe bet kids won’t be getting their candy fix on Zoom and our injury lawyers in Cape Coral and Fort Myers know the systemic risks will be largely the same: Pedestrian injuries, collisions caused by drunk driving, and premises liability cases stemming from injuries at resorts, nightclubs, large gatherings and riotous parties.

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