The State of Florida has the highest drowning death rate in the US for children ages 1-4 years (8.9/100,000) and during 1999-2003 recorded 356 unintentional drowning deaths among children in this age group according to the Florida Department of Health.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, pool drownings for young children have increased dramatically. Nationwide, an average of about 300 children under 5 years old drowned in pools nationwide annually. Most of these deaths occurred in the summer months. Drowning is the second leading cause of death to young children after motor vehicle incidents. Another 2,700 children are treated in hospital emergency rooms each year for near-drowning incidents. Most of these cases involve residential pools.
Unfortunately, these tragedies can, and do occur all too quickly — many times before parents and caretakers are even aware that their toddlers are no longer in the house. Whenever a pool is nearby, constant adult supervision is vital. Even if a young child has been taught to swim, it is still necessary for an adult to be watching.
The key to preventing these tragedies is to have multiple levels of protection. This includes placing barriers around your pool to prevent access, using alarms on doors that access the pool, installing child proof locks on all doors leading to the pool and being prepared in case of an emergency. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has specific recommendations to reduce the incidence of childhood drownings.
Pool drowning cases present unique issues for attorneys representing parents.
Frequently, they involve death or brain damage to the child. Although others may be responsible for their child’s drowning, most parents tend to experience feelings of guilt. Accordingly, these cases need to be handled in a manner designed to minimize the trauma to the family and to provide closure.
If someone you love drowned or experienced a near-drowning experience, you can request a free consultation with our firm to review your legal options. Please complete our online contact form or call us at 954-961-2055.
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