Swimming is not just a fun activity but usually a healthy one; in fact, it is recommended for all ages, with some kids learning to enjoy the water as babies. Families enjoy outings to the beach together up and down both coasts of Florida, along with sailing, fishing, surfing, paddle boarding, and more. Unfortunately, with so much time spent on the water there is even more opportunity for accidents to happen—and Florida leads in drowning deaths for children.
In the US overall, the CDC reports that ten people die per day due to drowning. When you add in boating deaths, that increases the toll to around 330 other deaths annually too.
“About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger,” states the CDC. “For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.”
“More than 50% of drowning victims treated in emergency departments (EDs) require hospitalization or transfer for further care (compared with a hospitalization rate of about 6% for all unintentional injuries). These nonfatal drowning injuries can cause severe brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning (e.g., permanent vegetative state).”
When it comes to keeping kids safe in the water:
- Always make sure there is adult supervision.
- Start them on swimming lessons as early as possible but remember—that does not mean there is not still the potential for drowning.
- If you are going to the beach or boating, stay up to date with the weather report.
- Require them to wear life jackets when boating.
- Eliminate alcohol from the equation altogether—not only is supervision lax and judgment inhibited when the adults are drinking, but this can also play a part in many adult drownings and other accidents on the water.
Precautions should be taken at home if you have a swimming pool, to include proper maintenance. In Florida, you must have at least one of the required safety options such as a 48” high fence or an alarm, self-latching devices, or an approved pool cover. Drains can be a major issue in pools too, leading to drowning if children or adults have their hair caught up in the sucking mechanisms. Modern drains are designed to prevent such issues, but if you have an older pool, update drains as soon as possible.
If you have been injured on the water or in a swimming pool or boating accident due to the negligence of others, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!