Articles Posted in Swimming Pool Accidents

Kids are out of school for their summer break and more and more of them are suiting up and jumping in to the nearest swimming pool.

The summer season brings the highest risks for swimming pool accidents in Fort Myers and elsewhere — especially among young children. According to, drownings are the number one cause of death for kids aged 1- to 4-years-old. From 2007 to 2009, there was an average of about 390 kids under the age of 15-years-old who died in a drowning-related accident in the U.S. each year.

Our Fort Myers child injury attorneys are asking parents to keep a close eye on our young ones during the summer break and especially near the swimming pool. Parents may be the biggest lifesaver in keeping kids safe around pools. Please keep an eye on children under the age of 15, but especially on those under the age of 6.

About 75 percent of drowning deaths involve a child who is under the age of 6. Nearly 70 percent of those victims are children between the ages of 1- and 3-years-old.

Florida is the most dangerous state for these kinds of accidents, too. From January to October of 2011, there were nearly 50 drowning-related fatalities involving children under the age of 15. Trailing behind us was the state of Texas with approximately 40 fatalities and then California with 39 fatalities.

In addition to the precious lives that are taken by drowning accidents every year, another 5,200 young ones are sent to emergency rooms across the country. Parents are asked to step in, to keep a close eye on our young ones and to help to prevent these accidents.

Who is at risk?

-More than 65 percent of these victims are between the ages of 1- and 3-years-old.

-More than 15 percent of these victims are ages 5- through 9-years-old.

-More than 10 percent are 4-years-old.

-Less than 5 percent are 10- to 14-years-old.

-About 2 percent are 1-years-old or younger.

Did you know that these kinds of accidents are most likely to happen at home, too? Nearly 45-percent of drowning accidents occur in a homeowner’s pool. Another 25 percent happen at a friend or a family member’s pool and another 20 percent at a public or community pool.

Parents might want to keep a close eye on their young boys, too. Boys account for about 60 percent of these accident victims while girls account for 40 percent.
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As Floridians enjoy the spring weather, The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has been conducting investigations into the safety of pool and spa drain covers.

As the investigation carries on, testing protocols used by some laboratories have been deemed improper, resulting in noncompliance with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (P&SSAct). Defective pool and drain covers heighten the risk for a Naples swimming pool accident.
Our Fort Myers personal injury lawyers understand the risks posed by defective drain covers — which can lead to entrapment injuries and drowning. These investigations have provided the CPSC with more than 17,000 pages from the laboratories in response to subpoenas from the federal agency.

Many homeowners are uncovering and servicing their pools for the summer season. In Florida, pools are much more likely to be used year around. But that can mean there is no set time for safety and maintenance inspections. We suggest a thorough inspection be conducted at the start of the spring and summer swimming season, as well as around the Fourth of July and Labor Day.

The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act (P&SS Act), which regulates the safety of our pools, was passed after a young girl drowned from being trapped under the water by the suction from a hot tub drain. The suction proved to be too powerful, despite the fact that she had been swimming since she was 3 years old.

The failing marks returned to the CPSC raise red flags to Southwest Floridians as the Memorial Day weekend approaches. Anytime is a good time in Florida to have your pool and pool equipment thoroughly inspected. It’s encouraged that you have it checked thoroughly, and have it checked often.

National drowning statistics show that swimming pools can be fatal to anyone if the proper precautions are not taken to reduce the risk of preventable safety hazards. A national study determined approximately 10 people drowned on any given day each summer. Approximately 5,000 children under the age of 14 of hospitalized each year with 15 percent of them dying and 20 percent suffering severe and permanent brain damage. Drowning is the second-leading cause of injury-related deaths for children under the age of 14.

According to the Florida County Property Appraisers, Florida has the highest number of deaths resulting from swimming pool drownings in children under the age of 5. These fatalities often occur in cases where a pool lacked the proper safety features.

As Florida is home to more than 1,000,000 residential pools, residents are urged to practice all safety precautions, conduct regular inspections and make sure your pool meet safety standards.
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A series of drowning or near-drowning incidents involving children remind us that swimming safety is an important topic for discussion. Each of us need to do our part to avoid swimming pool accidents in Fort Myers, Naples and throughout South Florida.

On Sunday, the News-Press reported that a 2-year-old boy drowned in a pond in South Fort Myers. The child apparently slipped out of his house and wandered into the pond about 30 yards away.

1262339_swimming_pool.jpgLast week, a 15-year-old boy drowned while swimming near the Sanibel Causeway, according to The News-Press.

childswimming.jpgAs an update to our January 18, 2010 blog, NBC reported last night that the second twin, Christian, who had been in a coma since Saturday, January 16, had died. The family spokesperson indicated that Christian would live on by the donation of his organs to another child. This child has not yet been identified.

“There are a few website links parents should access for information on how to keep their children safe with water safety training.”

swimmingpool.jpgNBC-2 reported today that toddler twins in Port Charlotte, FL were found face down in a pool on Saturday. One died and one is in a coma. A three-year old child opened the sliding glass door which allowed the 13-month old toddlers access to the pool.

The latest study of child abuse deaths in Florida for 2008 was released at the end of December, and the facts and figures paint a grim picture for the potential for child deaths caused by drowning. The Florida Department of Health conducts the annual research report, and found that Lee County ranks second in drowning deaths of children below the age of 5 – there were 6 during 2008. This is the highest number of child drowning cases in at least 10 years. Broward County led the state with 8.

The report indicates that Florida leads the country in the unintentional drowning rate of children younger than 5, and that 70 percent of the cases involved happened in swimming pools. The report goes on to say that state health officials, along with the Department of Children and Families, are aggressively attempting to identify instances in which a child drowning was caused by poor adult supervision. It states that “children continue to die from drowning at an alarming rate as a result of inadequate supervision”, and recommends a systematic approach to prevent further child drowning cases.

oahu_waterpark1.jpgWith the dog days of Florida’s sizzling summer and the family travel season in full swing, Florida injury lawyers are urging visitors to our many amusement and theme parks to exercise safety to avoid potential personal injury.

“Whether you are visiting the world-famous resort destinations in Orlando or the local water park or community pool just around the corner, ensuring a safe summer for you and your family means following a few simple rules,” said Attorney PJ Scheiner of Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Personal Injury Lawyers.

According to the widely respected website founded and edited by Robert Niles, former attractions host at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, these are the top 10 things to consider to keep your park experience safe and enjoyable:

Swimming lessons for very young children appear to have a protective effect against drowning — and do not increase a child’s risk, as some experts had feared, according to a study released this month by the National Institutes of Health.

Florida injury lawyers and Florida wrongful death attorneys encourage parents to practice water safety with their children. Florida has the highest drowning rate in the nation for children under 5 and Florida child injury attorneys and Florida pool injury lawyers continue to see tragic drowning deaths throughout Southwest Florida, including Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples, Lehigh Acres and Bonita Springs.

The recent report states that the finding should ease concerns among health professionals that swimming lessons in children ages 1 to 4 might indirectly increase drowning risk by making parents and caregivers less attentive and less vigilant to children around water.

“Swimming lessons are appropriate for consideration as part of a comprehensive drowning prevention strategy,” said Dr. Duane Alexander, of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development. “(But) because even the best swimmers can drown, swimming lessons are only one component of a comprehensive drowning prevention strategy that should include pool fencing, adult supervision and training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.”

Florida’s high rate of child drowning deaths made it a key area of study for the research, which also includes parts of Maryland, North Carolina, California and Texas.

Of the 61 children ages 1 to 4 who drown, just 2 (3 percent) had received swimming lessons. Meanwhile, 35 of 134 children who did not drown (26 percent) had taken swimming lessons.

The study is careful to caution that swimming lessons are just one part of drowning prevention.

“Parents and caregivers who choose to enroll their children in swimming lessons should be cautioned that this alone will not prevent drowning and that even the most proficient swimmers can drown,” study authors wrote.

Florida’s Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act requires many home owners to comply with safety standards aimed at preventing human and animal drownings, including a fence or enclosure around the pool area, locking gates, pool covers and alarms on doors and window leading from a residence into a pool area.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured or killed in a swimming accident, a child injury attorney or Florida personal injury and wrongful death lawyer may be able to help protect your rights. Florida injury lawyers offer free appointments to discuss your rights at offices located throughout Southwest Florida, including Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples, Arcadia, Port Charlotte, Sebring and Venice.

Here are some water safety tips for children provided by
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The Florida injury lawyers at Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Personal Injury Lawyers, begin 2009 with a new toll-free phone number, 1-800-Dial-BLS.

Whether you are injured in a car accident, motorcycle accident, truck accident or are the victim of a drunk driving crash or other personal-injury or wrongful-death situation, representatives are available 24 hours a day at 1-800-Dial-BLS to review your case.

The firm has four decades of experience handling car accidents and other personal injury cases throughout Southwest Florida, including Fort Myers, Naples, Cape Coral, Arcadia, Port Charlotte, Venice and Sebring.

Started in 1971 by Bruce L. Scheiner, the family-run firm is dedicated to representing Florida residents who have been injured by the negligent or careless acts of other individuals, businesses or insurance companies.

The firm has never worked for big businesses or insurance companies and practices exclusively in the area of personal injury law. Unlike many other firms, which split their attention between personal injury cases and other types of law, like divorce, real estate and criminal cases, Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Personal Injury Lawyers, is a team of almost 100 professionals dedicated to fighting for justice for those how have been injured or killed in Florida.

Bruce L. Scheiner still hand selects each case the firm represents. Together with his wife Cheryl, who runs the office, and son, Preston J. Scheiner, who is an associate attorney, the Scheiner team is dedicated to getting you and your loved ones the compensation you deserve.

After four decades of service in Southwest Florida, there promise to you is simple: at Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Personal Injury Lawyers, you’ll pay nothing unless we win.

Look for the new toll-free hotline throughout Southwest Florida, on billboards, on television, in the yellow pages and online.
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The new year brings new rules for public and semi-public swimming pools as authorities seek to reduce swimming pool accidents and drowning risk during Southwest Florida’s prime tourist season.

The attorneys and staff at Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Personal Injury Lawyers wish everyone a safe and happy winter season but want to remind visitors and residents alike that the winter months often bring increased danger of accidental drowning.

Florida has the highest drowning rate for small children of any state in the nation. Last spring, in Cape Coral alone, five people drowned and three others were hospitalized. For children under 5, Florida drowning rate is twice the national average, with most deaths occurring in residential swimming pools.

Nationally, drowning is the second-leading cause of accidental death for children under 14.

“I think a lot of times it’s just those few moments when a pool gate was left open or a sliding glass door was left open,” pediatrician Dr. Stan Wiggins told NBC-2 recently. Wiggins said it is especially important for grandparents to make sure their pool area is secure when children come to visit.

Pediatricians also advise parents, grandparents and care givers to learn child and infant CPR.

The new year also brings with it new laws requiring safer pool drains and systems designed to reduce the risk of entrapment. On Dec. 19, the Consumer Product Safety Commission began requiring the improvements on hotel, apartment and condo pools.

Lee County ranks fourth in the state for the highest number of residential swimming pools. In fact, the recent real estate boom brought more new residential swimming pools to Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres, Bonita Springs and the surrounding area than anywhere else in Florida.

Newer swimming pools must include certain mandatory safety features, including a pool surrounding at least 4-foot tall, self-closing and self-locking pool entries and door and window alarms between the home and pool area.

Pool owners – whether hotel, home or condo – have certain legal responsibilities.
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