Pools & Spas– The Importance of SafetyJune 1, 2017 | Category: Child Injuries, Wrongful Death | Share
Two young children, ages 3 and 1, died Monday night, May 15, in a condo pool in Cape Coral, Florida. This tragedy happened in a pool that was not fenced in and protected as required by Florida law. WINK News reported that the Department of Children and Families was contacted and an investigation is underway in the drowning.
A former resident of the Aurora Townhouse Condo Association where the drowning happened was quoted in the Fort Myers News-Press as saying, "The fence that used to rim the pool area was removed in January. If that fence would have been there, this never would have happened."
The CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) May 2016 report showed the annual estimates of the number of reported pool- or spa-related drowning accidents for children younger than 15 years of age. Here are some of the key points from the report:
- There were an estimated 5,600 pool- or spa-related, hospital emergency department (ED)-treated nonfatal drowning injuries each year for 2013 through 2015, and 367 pool- or spa-related drowning accidents reported per year for 2011 through 2013, involving children younger than 15 years of age.
- The majority of the estimated ED-treated, non-fatal drowning injuries for 2013 through 2015, and the reported drowning accidents for 2011 through 2013, were associated with pools versus spas.
- Annual estimates of the number of children who were treated in hospital emergency departments for pool- or spa-related non-fatal drowning injuries in 2015 were not statistically different from those in 2014.
- For children younger than 15 years of age, there were approximately twice as many reported drowning accidents involving male victims than reported drowning accidents involving female victims.
- The majority (77 percent) of drowning accidents and non-fatal drowning injuries from 2011 through 2015 involved children younger than 5 years of age.
According to the Florida Department of Health (DOH), drowning is the leading cause of death among children ages 1 to 5; more children die from drowning in Florida than in any other state.
Florida's Residential Pool Safety Act (515.29) requires residential pools to have alarms or barriers. The barrier requirements are:
(1) A residential swimming pool barrier must have all of the following characteristics:
(a) The barrier must be at least 4 feet high on the outside.
(b) The barrier may not have any gaps, openings, indentations, protrusions, or structural components that could allow a young child to crawl under, squeeze through, or climb over the barrier.
(c) The barrier must be placed around the perimeter of the pool and must be separate from any fence, wall, or other enclosure surrounding the yard unless the fence, wall, or other enclosure or portion thereof is situated on the perimeter of the pool, is being used as part of the barrier, and meets the barrier requirements of this section.
(d) The barrier must be placed sufficiently away from the water's edge to prevent a young child, or medically frail elderly person who may have managed to penetrate the barrier, from immediately falling into the water.
"Florida's beautiful weather, and school vacations, allow for many days of swimming in pools. Because of the danger associated with pools and young children, we at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. remind parents to inspect pool facilities for safety before allowing children near the water, and always have a designated 'child watcher' when enjoying the water," said Fort Myers Child Injury Lawyer, Randall Spivey.
Fort Myers Child Injuries Lawyer, 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.