With its beautiful beaches, lakes, and pools, Florida is the perfect state to find a great place to enjoy the water on a summer day. Unfortunately, even with all its beauty, Florida is not exempt from dangers, especially recently. According to The Florida Department of Children and Families, fatal drownings for children under five have risen by almost thirty percent in the last year. Petra Staton (Safe Kids supervisor) states that the increase in drownings is the result of many contributing factors, including the fact that Florida is surrounded by water, particularly defense water, that can be extremely dangerous for children.
What is Contributing to the Increased Drownings of Children Under 5 in Florida?
In addition to Florida’s landscape, COVID-19 may also be a significant contributor to the increase in drownings of young children. The pandemic changes the dynamic of many families, most of the time resulting in parents being overwhelmed with tasks from work and home while still having to supervise their children. This isn’t to say that parents are neglectful. It’s demonstrating that the distributions caused by the pandemic are causing ripple effects. Parents who have too much on their plate may be distracted for a second, which can lead to fatal consequences.
Furthermore, Florida is still a hotspot for people wanting to vacation or relocate. However, people who aren’t from Florida may be unaware of the dangers of the water. They’re unfamiliar with the terrain, and that unfamiliarity can lead to children wondering and falling into situations they can’t escape from, and parents couldn’t have foreseen because they don’t know the area.
The Four Layers of Protection From the National Drowning Prevention Alliance
The CDC reports that drownings are the leading cause of death for children one to four years old, the second leading cause for children one to fourteen and the fifth leading cause of death for people of all ages in the U.S. To prevent unintentional drownings, the National Drowning Prevention Alliance developed the “four layers of protection” that people can use as a guide to help prevent drownings.
Layer One: Supervision
Active supervision is the first and most crucial layer of protection needed to prevent accidental drownings. Unfortunately, it’s far too common that drownings occur when the adults are aware of the child in the water, and they’re nearby but not actively supervising the child. A study conducted by WebMd demonstrated that most drowning victims were under some form of adult supervision at the time of the incident.
Layer Two: Physical Layers
This protective layer is about setting physical boundaries between the water and children, including fences or gates and other physical barriers that prevent children from approaching the water without supervision.
Layer Three: Alarms
Physical barriers paired with alarms can be a great help in ensuring children aren’t going near water without their guardian or parent. Alarms installed in windows, gates, doors, and any other entry that leads to water will alter adults that their child may have gotten past the physical barrier giving adults the time to locate their child before an accident occurs.
Layer Four: Swimming Lessons
According to the CDC, learning to swim can reduce the risk of accidental drownings by 88%. Swimming can prove to be a life-saving skill that provides protection against accidental drownings. Parents and guardians can enroll their children in water safety, CPR, first aid and recuse courses that give them the tools to prevent drowning. In fact, studies show that the best age to learn to swim is between the ages of one and four.
Swimming Pool/Water Park Accident Lawyer at Baker Legal Team
Swimming pools and water parks are a summer staple, but they can be dangerous if not carefully maintained. While not all accidents are preventable, many can be as long as people are taking care to prevent harming others. When a swimming pool or water park owner, staff, or maintenance team fails to protect you and your family from harm, they should be held responsible for their actions or lack of action.
Robert Baker, board-certified attorney at Baker Legal Team, provides victims of negligence with award-winning representation. He has extensive experience helping clients who’ve been injured because of negligent parties involved in operating and maintaining swimming pools and water parks. Rober Baker can help you pick the best course of action to achieve a favorable outcome for your situation. Call our firm today at (561) 320-0000 or complete our online contact form.