With the balmy weather in Florida, swimming pools are generally open year round for people to enjoy. As spring and summer approach, however, people tend to start using their pools much more as the weather and the pool water grow warmer. Unfortunately, this tends to mean more people are at risk of drowning accidents.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 10 people each day die from an accidental drowning in the U.S., two of whom are children ages 14 and under. Our West Palm Beach accident attorneys know that Florida is among the worst states for drowning accidents with the abundant swimming pools, numerous resorts and miles of coast line. We urge every swimmer and every pool owner to exercise caution this spring and summer to try to avoid deadly drowning accidents.
Palm Beach County Offers Drowning Prevention Tips
To try to tackle the problem of drowning in the area, a Palm Beach County Drowning Prevention Coalition has been organized. The organization, called the DPC, is supported by more than 30 local agencies and its mission is to prevent drowning accidents. Their goal is zero drowning deaths in Palm Beach County.
The DPC aims to promote, develop and support training and educational efforts to prevent drownings and near drownings that occur as a result of watercrafts, scuba diving, recreational swimming and snorkeling.
Some of the DPC's most important tips for preventing drowning deaths focus on protecting children, who are generally at the greatest risk of death due to drowning. Some water safety tips for parents to keep kids safe include:
- Teaching children of all ages how to roll over and float. This can be a life-saving skill for young kids who cannot swim and for kids who may not have the endurance to swim for longer periods of time while awaiting rescue if they are drowning.
- Having kids take refresher swimming classes each year. Children should be taught to swim when they are as young as possible, and should take a refresher class each year to keep up their skills.
- Supervising children in water at all times. DPC cautions that a child can drown during the time that it takes a parent to answer a phone.
- Appointing a "water-watcher" to monitor children during any social gatherings that are located near bodies of water.
The DPC also offers some general tips to prevent drowning including:
- Having multiple layers of protection for backyard pools, including self-closing latches on doors and windows; alarms on doors and windows leading to the pool area; and secure fencing.
- Installing a poolside telephone with emergency phone numbers on speed dial.
- Keeping rescue equipment and posted instructions on how to perform CPR near the swimming pool.
Homeowners who own a pool must follow these tips not only to save lives but also because they could be held legally liable if someone drowns on their property. A resort that has a swimming pool could also be legally liable if a drowning occurs and could be made to compensate the victim or surviving loved ones.
If you've been hurt, contact West Palm Beach injury attorney David J. Glatthorn at 800-990-9394.