Increase in Florida's Population Can Lead to More Child Pool AccidentsNovember 27, 2019 | Category: Child Injuries, Swimming Accidents | Share
Visit Florida estimated that 111.8 million domestic visitors traveled to Florida in 2018 in addition to an estimated 10.8 million overseas visitors and 3.5 million Canadians. These visitors stay in hotels, private homes, and/or condominiums with pools.
The International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education said, “Drowning is a perennial and endemic problem of public health significance in Florida. Every year, more people drown in Florida than in any other state, except California. Florida also has the highest rate of children ages one to four who drown (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). While both natural and human-made bodies of water are abundant in Florida and both pose drowning hazards, single-family residential swimming pools are a particular problem. The journal reported that 58.5 percent of children ages one to four drowned in Florida in a confirmed, single-family residential swimming pool in the last 10 plus years.”
Parents magazine reminds parents that drowning can happen fast, even with all we know about preventing it. It is still the leading cause of unintentional death and injury for children ages 1 through 4 and the second-leading cause for children 5 through 9 in the United States.
Nicole Hughes, whose son, Levi, slipped out of a house filled with people and drowned in a pool, wants stricter laws and continued public-awareness campaigns.
Parental Tips for Pool Safety from Parents Magazine
- Fight for Pool Law Changes
Should there be drowning, or near drowning, in your community, discuss it with others and use it as an opportunity to potentially fight for better pool safety regulations? Parents advisor Gary A. Smith, M.D., director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, in Columbus, Ohio, said, “Many pool laws are made locally, and advocating at the local level is often the most effective way to achieve change.”
- Talk to Children About Water Safety
Seventy percent of childhood drownings happen when children are not swimming but may wander over to a neighbor’s yard, slip through an unlocked gate, or tumble into a kiddy pool. “We should teach young children that water can be dangerous, just like cars,” says Tina Dessart, who oversees the USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash Initiative, which focuses on the importance of learning to swim. “Tell them, ‘You don’t go in or near the water without a grown-up, just like you don’t cross the street without a grown-up. It is dangerous.’ You should regularly reinforce this message the way you do all other household rules.”
- Insist on Water Watchers
Safety organizations urge parents and caregivers to take turns being on official water-watching duty. Wear a water watcher tag and pass it to the next parent on duty. Keep one in your bag and pull it out when you’re meeting up with friends at the public pool or beach, even when there’s a lifeguard on duty.
- Put Away Your Phone
Keep your phone fully charged and within reach, but do not use it when you are watching children in the pool. Children can silently slip beneath the surface and drown in seconds.
- Consider Swimming Lessons
Although swimming lessons cannot absolutely drown-proof a child, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says swimming lessons may be beneficial for children between the ages of 1 and 4.
- Be Smart About Pool Services
When opening a pool for the season, hire certified professionals to check that your pool’s safety cover is working properly. Electrical components and fencing should also be checked for proper functioning. Repair loose screws or rough edges that could catch hair or bathing suits and trap swimmers. Also, check for displaced or absent drain covers that could entrap a swimmer at the bottom of the pool.
- Have an Emergency Plan in Place
Know basic CPR. Having an all-weather sign with CPR instructions near the pool will make it easier to remember how to perform CPR in an emergency.
- Think Beyond the In-Ground Pool
A child can drown in less than 2 inches of water. Even the teeniest wading pool requires constant supervision and should be drained and placed well out of reach when it’s not being used. Inflatable pools often hold thousands of gallons of water that can’t easily be drained. In fact, they have become a particular threat. A study published in Pediatrics found that they are responsible for 11 percent of pool drowning among children under age 5. If you do have one, surround the pool with a fence, cover it when not in use, and remove the steps or ladder once swim time is over.
- Never Rely on Water Wings, Floaters, Inner Tubes or Noodles
Only flotation devices labeled “Coast Guard-approved” are safe in pools. Water wings, floaters, inner tubes, or noodles are just toys. Make sure to take them out of the pool when no longer swimming to avoid children from trying to reach the toys when no one is around.
- Make Sure the Pool is Fenced and Gated
The Florida Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act requires pools to be fenced and gated. They may also have exit alarms equipped on all doors and windows to make an audible, continuous alarm sound any time a door or window that allows direct access from the residence to the pool area is opened or left ajar.
For more information from Parents magazine please go to https://www.parents.com/kids/safety/outdoor/pool-drowning-safety-tips-for-parents/.
“Florida’s beautiful weather attracts thousands of visitors, and we at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. want to be sure they are safe when swimming in pools. If you or a loved one should be injured in an accident, please contact our experienced legal team 24/7. There are no costs or legal fees unless we make a monetary recovery for you,” said Fort Myers Swimming Accident Attorney Randall Spivey.
Fort Myers Child Injuries Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll-free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748, and in Collier County 239.793.7748.