While much of the rest of the nation is digging out of inches of snow, we in South Florida are experiencing warm temperatures that usher in the start of spring. Many Florida families are once again flocking to the pool or the beach, and while the start of spring is a time of excitement and fun, it is also important that Florida residents follow some vital water safety tips. Consider the following:
More children under the age of five die due to drowning in Florida than in any other state. Florida is home to thousands of swimming pools, ranging from public and private pools to water parks, apartment complex pools, hotel pools, and more. Our Miami personal injury lawyers report that each year, 1,000 children die by drowning in swimming pools. Another 5,000 will be hospitalized due to pool-related accidents and incidents of near-drowning.
As the weather warms and your children are drawn to the water, it is important emphasize supervision and swim safety. There are several steps that can prevent drowning deaths:
- Barriers: A child should never be able to enter a pool without an adult. Barriers must physically block the child from the pool. Appropriate barriers can include: installation of self-latching and self-closing gates, child-proof locks on doors, and door as well as pool alarms. Pool covers can be used but only when professionally fitted to your pool. A canvas covering not appropriately made for the pool can pose a drowning hazard, trapping the child in the water.
- Supervision: Someone needs to be closely observing all children when they play in the pool, each and every time. An appropriate adult must be focused on watching the children in the pool, which means no use of cell phones or engaging in distracting conversations. Drowning can happen in just a few minutes. As such, when you are at the pool, designate a water watcher whose sole task will be keeping an eye on swimmers.
- Swimming lessons: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children ages four and older learn to swim in order to prevent drowning. It also encourages providing younger children with swim instruction. Caregivers should ensure they can swim strongly as well.
- Be prepared in the event of an emergency: The moment a child stops breathing, you have just minutes to resuscitate the child and save his or her life. It is important that all parents or caregivers learn CPR. CPR is easy to perform and can mean the difference between life and death in the event of an emergency. In a drowning emergency, it is critical also to have a phone nearby and to immediately call 911.
If your child has been injured or killed in a pool related accident, consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to determine your legal rights.
Greenberg Stone and Urbano: Helping You and Your Family Stay Safe While Swimming
As we in South Florida enjoy this balmy weather, it is important to take necessary warm weather safety precautions. Monitoring children around pools is one of the most important steps to take. If you or a loved one is injured in any sort of accident, the Miami personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Greenberg Stone and Urbano are here to help. Our attorneys have over 130 years of collective experience zealously fighting for the recovery of accident victims. Our dedication and commitment to excellence has earned us recognition as a top South Florida firm by the Miami Herald and an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule an appointment so that we can begin mounting your successful personal injury action.