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.
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.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 4.Overall drowning deaths are up by one-third in the last 20 years. More alarmingly, they have increased nearly 20 percent since the start of Covid. More than 4,000 people drown each year in the United States.
Authorities are concerned the recent heat wave will increase the risks.
As we reach the height of summer months, our drowning injury attorneys in Fort Myers and Cape Coral urge parents and pool owners to take preventive action.
Hillsborough County recently released pool owners’ safety guidelines. Florida has more swimming pools than any state in the nation. With ownership, comes responsibilities under F.S. 515, the Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act. Pools must be covered with approved safety covers and/or properly fenced. Door and window alarms may also be required. Access gates must be self-closing and self-latching.
- Swimming lessons are the best thing you can do to prevent child drowning. A list of Lee County swimming lessons is available here.
- Proper supervision is required at all times. It is not enough to have adults in the area. A specific adult must be assigned to supervise swimming children.
- Use plenty of floating devices in your pool.
- Keep pools and spas properly maintained.
- Respect swimming warnings at public beaches and Gulf accesses.
- Always hold a safety briefing when visitors are staying at your home. Set clear rules and guidelines about use of the pool.
When someone is injured or killed in a swimming pool accident on private or commercial property, victims and family members are typically entitled to compensation. It’s important to note in the case of young children this is true even if a victim wandered onto a property or into a pool without permission. Florida’s Attractive Nuisance Doctrine holds property owners responsible for dangerous conditions that are likely to lure young children who may not understand the risks. While no amount of compensation can replace a child or loved one, correcting dangerous conditions and providing family members and victims with the healthcare and mental health resources to overcome a tragedy are always vital considerations.
If you or a loved one is injured, call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.