Each and every year in Florida and all over the United States, hundreds and even thousands of families fall victim to entirely preventable drowning accidents. Too many children have lost their lives to drowning accidents, simply due to lack of adult supervision. The adults in charge look away for a minute only to turn around and find the child has turned blue and cannot be revived. This type of tragedy is completely avoidable and should never happen in the first place That's why it's important to educate yourself and your family members about the importance of pool safety. If you want to keep your own family out of harms way, prevent drowning accidents, and educate family members and friends with minors about staying this summer–the Shaked Law Blog has put together a series of articles designed to help people just like you stay safe in and around swimming pools.
Within this article you'll find helpful tips for maintaining pool safety year-round, as well as what you must know if you or a loved one become the victim of a drowning accident. It's important to be prepared for any summer activity that takes place in or around a swimming pool, especially if you're hosting the activity, party, or event in a private residence. The law surrounding what's known as social host liability and accidental drownings are complex but knowing how to prevent drowning accidents from occurring in the first place should be everyone's priority.
Remember, an adult on their cell phone, reading a book, or having a conversation with another adult does not count as "adult supervision" for minors. The adult must be focused solely on the children in and around the swimming pool at all times. Even momentary distractions can lead to unnecessary tragedy, and liability for the adult in charge as well as the homeowner.
Gate it, close it, lock it!
The most important aspect of pool safety year-round is proper fencing. Fencing ensures that no minors will be able to access the pool area of a home without adult supervision. However, installing a fence on the property doesn't instantly ensure a minor won't slip away and fall into the swimming pool. It's important to remind everyone in the home (and visitors) to close the gate behind them when entering and exiting the pool area.
Even more importantly, the gate should have a locking mechanism, and family members should remind visitors to securely lock the gate behind them to prevent an accident. Small children can quickly learn how to slip past adults, and may be able to push open a gate with ease. That's why adding and using a locking mechanism on any swimming pool gate should be a priority. There are several reputable Florida-based companies that offer affordable fencing services in an effort to help families prevent drowning accidents before they occur.
A gate surrounding a swimming pool offers several built-in safety measures:
- Prevents children from slipping past adults and into the pool area, highly reducing the chance of drowning accidents
- Provides peace of mind for parents and other adults hosting events where minors are present
- Keeps potential trespassers or party crashers out of the pool when the family is at work, at play, or on vacation away from the home
South Florida is swimming season year-round
In states like Florida where swimming is a year-round activity, it's important to establish appropriate pool behavior and safety measures with children from the time they're young. Minors should be introduced to "pool rules" as soon as parents deem them old enough to swim. Younger children should never be allowed to swim before successfully completing age-appropriate swimming lessons. Even after completing lessons successful, no minor should ever be left alone in a swimming pool. "One second" can turn into "an entire life lost" in a matter of seconds. Nothing is more important than pool supervision.
CPR is also something families should familiarize themselves with. Each member of the family should be introduced at their individual skill level as to the appropriate response to someone in the group requiring medical attention. The American Red Cross offers these classes at every skill level low cost and even free of charge for families who are interested in a safer South Florida summer.
In the Shaked Law Blog's highly successful Your Guide to Summer Safety: Precautions, Preparedness, Prevention we provided some helpful tips for parents on how to get started with pool safety.
Parents should establish several important safety measures with children of every age:
- How to quickly contact 911 in the event of an emergency
- How to administer CPR (the child should be old enough to understand the step-by-step process)
- Pool-appropriate behavior ("no running!", "no diving!", "no pushing others into the water!" while showing children they don't need to do those things to have fun in the water)
- Minors are never to swim without adult supervision–whether they are at home or at a friend or relative's home
- "no adult, no swimming" should be established early and often. Remind children that if there is no adult present, they should not attempt to go near the swimming pool
Tragedies happen, do you know what to do?
When a tragedy such as a wrongful death as a result of a drowning accident occurs, families are left grief stricken and most don't know where to turn. It's important to fully understand your rights when you've suffered the loss of a loved one due to a drowning accident. In Part 2 of Unsupervised Swimming Pools Account for High Number of Drowning Accidents the Shaked Law Blog will seek to provide readers will everything they need to know. We'll cover a wide range of topics from the perspective of an experienced Personal Injury attorney who understands wrongful death cases on a personal level, and who has recovered millions of dollars in damages for clients who have endured these tragic events.
We'll cover topics related to "social host liability" and how "premises liability" can factor into a drowning accident claim, and we'll go in-depth about the differences you must know when it comes to public and private swimming pools. The answers to these questions will provide an extensive look at yet another topic the insurance company doesn't want those who have suffered a wrongful death to find out. The insurance company's only goal is to keep money in their pockets, and away from the victims and families who rightfully deserve to be compensated for their loss.