A recent study indicates that Florida children under the age of 5 are at the highest risk for accidental drowning and death. According to the Florida Department of Health, our state has the highest unintentional drowning rate in the nation for children between 0 and 4 years old (7.39 per 100,000) from 2000-2005. This number is nearly 50% higher than the next closest state (Arizona has a rate of 5.41 for the same age group).
As a result, many homeowners find themselves in civil lawsuits for wrongful death or injury. South Florida homeowners can take several steps to reduce the risk of accidental drowning on their properties:
1. An adult must supervise children at all times. Even stepping away for a few minutes could mean the difference between life and death.
2. A four-sided barrier, such as a fence with automatic gates, should surround the pool to keep out small children when the pool is not actively in use.
3. Install safety covers and gate alarms to prevent drowning while the pool is not actively in use.
4. Be sure that all adults and children who use the pool know how to swim.
5. Get basic CPR and first aid training to help victims in case of an emergency.
6. Install an outdoor phone line or keep a cell phone handy to quickly reach emergency services should an accident occur.
Pool injuries and deaths can be avoided by taking the proper precautions on your property this summer. If you or someone you care about has been injured at a pool or if someone has been injured on your property, it pays to have a qualified lawyer on your side. Some cases are very straightforward and others are very convoluted and it is important to have a legal professional working for you.