Top Reasons Pool Drownings Occur
Florida has the most residential pools of any state and year-round weather that encourages regular dips in the pool. In many ways, it’s a swimmer’s paradise. However, there is a downside – pool drownings and pool accidents.
Florida ranks 6th in the nation for pool drowning deaths. Further, recent research suggests that Florida is #1 in the U.S. for pool drownings for children under five years of age. These are sobering statistics.
However, the good news is there are proven methods to decrease instances of pool drowning and accidents. This article discusses:
- What causes someone to drown in a pool?
- How common is drowning in a pool?
- Top injuries caused by pool accidents
- Ways to prevent pool accidents and drownings
- When to contact a pool drowning lawyer
Continue reading to learn more.
How Common is Drowning in a Pool?
According to the CDC, there are nearly 4,000 unintentional drownings per year. While that number also includes boating-related accidents, it’s also safe to assume that a large percentage of those drownings occur in swimming pools.
A few key statistics indicating the commonality of fatal swimming pool accidents include:
- Children aged 1-4 are more likely to die from drowning than any other cause (other than birth defects).
- It is the second most common reason for unintentional accidents among children aged 1-14.
- There are more than 8,000 nonfatal drownings every year.
What Causes Someone to Drown in a Pool?
A drowning accident can lead to devastating injuries, up to death. Before learning how to prevent pool accidents, knowing how they typically occur is essential. With that in mind, the most common causes of drowning and accidents in the water include:
- Inability to swim
- Non-existent or inadequate fencing around the pool
- Lack of adult supervision
- Too much comfort around a home swimming pool
- Intoxication, illicit drugs, or prescription medication
- Diving in shallow water
- Swimming pool slides
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Circulation entrapment
- Lack of depth markers
Further, it’s important to note there are discrepancies in pool drowning statistics between age groups, ethnicities, sex, and people with specific disabilities.
Injuries Caused By Pool Accidents
Generally, any number of injuries can occur due to a pool accident. However, the most common injuries resulting from pool accidents include, but are not limited to:
- Near drowning requiring resuscitation
- Fatal drowning
- Head injuries (including Traumatic Brain Injuries)
- Breaks, bruises, and scrapes
- Eye injuries
- Lung injuries
Suppose you or a family member has suffered catastrophic injuries in a pool accident due to the recklessness of another person or entity. In that case, it’s in your best interest to contact a pool drowning lawyer as soon as possible. Depending on the facts of the case, you may be entitled to maximum compensation.
12 Ways To Prevent Pool Accidents And Drowning
It’s nearly impossible to prevent all pool drownings and accidents. However, you can help yourself, and your family significantly decrease the chances of pool accidents by adhering to the following tips:
- Learn how to swim, and take it seriously. It could save your life.
- Always supervise children in the pool.
- Limit your swimming to pools with a lifeguard.
- Maintain a locked gate around your residential pool.
- Stay away from alcohol or drugs before swimming.
- Swim with a partner.
- Learn CPR or ensure at least one other person at the pool knows it.
- Enforce pool safety rules with your children.
- Wear a life jacket or other flotation device if you’re not confident in your swimming ability
- Steer clear of pool drains and suctions
- Don’t dive or belly flop in shallow water
- Clear pool hazards and unused toys
Swimming in the pool is meant to be fun. However, it’s a pleasure that should also be respected. Following the pool safety tips mentioned above can help you enjoy swimming while avoiding unnecessary and fatal pool accidents.
Contact A Pool Drowning Lawyer in Florida Today
If you or a loved one has suffered significant injuries or death due to a pool accident, we recommend consulting with a pool drowning lawyer as soon as possible. There are strict Florida pool liability laws for residential and commercial pool owners.
If you and your family have experienced a catastrophic injury or even fatality due to their negligence, you may be entitled to significant damages. Depending on the nature of the accident, you can potentially recoup damages for medical bills, rehabilitation, a wrongful death claim, lost income, and more.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to file a pool accident personal injury claim. Contact a Florida pool drowning lawyer at The Schrier Law Group today for your free initial consultation.
Tips to Keep Your Children Safe Around Pools, During the Summer in Florida
Many children enjoy swimming and they create great memories by all of the experiences that they have in pools and at the beaches in Florida. However, keeping your children and their friends safe, this summer, is a serious endeavor.
Pool-related accidents can occur at any time, even when your children can swim well. Try these simple suggestions, to help keep your children and their guests safe, during the hot summer months.
Learn CPR & Teach Your Child
Although CPR is not part of the Florida public school curriculum, many communities elect to provide courses through other local means. Having someone in your family that can perform CPR could save a life one day.
Teach Your Child How to Swim
All family members can benefit from one another by learning how to swim. It’s never too early to start and to get comfortable around your Florida pool this summer.
Swimming also provides great cardiovascular exercise, teaches perseverance, and is an excellent activity for all Floridians to enjoy this summer. Although learning can be frightening for some children, doing so can be essential to keep all children safe when they are around pools.
Prevent Unsupervised Pool Access
One of the most effective ways to keep your children safe in your Florida pool this summer is to keep them supervised by a responsible adult. Leaving your child unsupervised or under the care of another child can be dangerous. Installing fences or locks can be effective, by preventing unsupervised pool access as well.
Keep a Watchful Eye – Even If They Are Great Swimmers
Child safety experts recommend watching your children without distractions and keeping young children close. Designating a trusted adult, with swimming and CPR capabilities, to supervise a limited number of children in your pool could help keep them all safe. It is also important to watch all children, especially when they are playing near and around pool areas.
Another preventive safety measure is to enact the buddy system. Although the buddy system still requires children to be supervised, having your little swimmers swim in tandem could help prevent accidents from happening.
In the event that a child is in danger and needs help, it is important to make sure that assistance is provided as quickly as possible. Those milliseconds could make the difference between life and death.
Keep Your Safety Equipment Stocked and Close By
The pool cover, pool fence, and pool drain could become hazardous when proper safety precautions are not taken. They all should be inspected & regularly tested by an expert. Rope & float dividers can help children stay in the area of the pool that matches their swimming level.
Having life jackets or other floating devices available could help to save your children from unforeseen accidents. In addition, having a first aid kit handy could be a life-saver.
Also, a shepherd’s hook or life hook can be used to help save children from drowning. These are just a few of the most essential safety tips and tools for Florida pool users.
Establish Pool Rules With Your Children
Approximately 87% of all children, who are under the age of five and who drown, do so in a backyard pool.
Establishing pool rules and enforcing them can be pivotal in keeping your child safe this summer. Small children can be quick, and drowning can be a silent killer, so the rules that you create and utilize from experts are essential to keep your pool and the area safe for all.
Below are some clear and concise pool rules that child safety experts recommend:
- No swimming without a trusted adult’s supervision
- No pushing, fighting, or horseplay in and around the pool
- No running next to the pool
- No diving
- If someone is in trouble, ask and scream for help, if necessary. Do not wait until it arrives.
- If you have to use the bathroom, walk slowly to a restroom and do not use the pool or run.
Maintain a Clean Pool
Keeping your pool clear of debris could help prevent incidents of drowning. Trash, debris, and other things floating in your Florida backyard pool may prevent your children from using your pool in a safe manner.
It’s essential to cover the pool when it’s not in use and it should be cleaned often in order to maintain a safe pool for your children.
Contact a Swimming Pool Accident Attorney Today
It is important to make sure that your homeowner’s insurance policy includes liability coverage for all claims & lawsuits that could result from incidents/accidents in and around swimming pools. While inconsequential accidents can happen, other incidents can result in injuries and even in tragic deaths. It is important to protect your assets, by having the right insurance coverage, in the event of an accident in or around your home pool.
There are some policies that do not provide coverage for pools and you may need to do research and shop around to find the right coverage to fit your needs
In the event that your child is injured at or near a friend’s pool and the injury is caused by the negligence or the carelessness of the pool owner, a Florida swimming pool accident attorney could help to protect you and your children’s rights this summer. The right negligence attorney can help to ensure that you recover the compensation that you deserve in the event of an avoidable pool accident.
Contact Schrier Law Group today, for a free consultation.
We can be reached at (800) 700-Paul.
The Liabilities for a Swimming Pool Drowning
Swimming pools are always a source of fun for people during the dog days of summer. And for those in Florida, year-round. However, with swimming pool ownership comes a number of legal responsibilities that the owner has when it comes to safety. Schrier Law Group is here to go over the laws if one fails to follow any one of said laws, they can be held liable when someone drowns in their pool. This goes for public pools as well as private backyard swimming pools.
When one dies in a drowning accident at a private pool or a public pool, their loved ones may be able to file a negligence lawsuit against the owner. They can also file a lawsuit if their loved one suffers brain injuries or any other type of harm.
Liability presents an issue for swimming pool owners. If an accident happens at someone’s swimming pool, chances are that they can be held responsible for it. There are lawsuit verdicts that have held hotels and property owners responsible for drownings that happened in their pools.
Premises Liability Law Applies to Swimming Pool Accidents
The first thing to understand is the law that applies to swimming pool accidents. The standard concepts of premises liability law will apply, albeit with some differences that are unique to the context of pool safety.
Premises liability generally holds that a property owner is responsible for any injuries that occur on their property. The exceptions to premises law liability include when the injured person is a trespasser on the land and when they were the cause of their own injury. However, a landowner owes a higher standard of care when a child is on their land that would include warning them of obvious dangers to them.
When it comes to a swimming pool, homeowners would need to show an even higher standard of care for children that come onto the property under something called the “attractive nuisance doctrine.”
When are Owners Liable for Swimming Pool Accidents
There are circumstances in which swimming pool owners could be liable for drownings in their pool.
- The child was not adequately supervised in the swimming pool
- The pool was not kept in a state of good repair
- The pool was not fenced off or covered
- There was not the proper safety equipment
Pool Owners’ Homeowners Policies
When it comes to paying for the damages caused by a homeowner’s swimming pool, the first place to go would be their homeowner’s insurance policy. This policy has a liability portion that would cover injury or death in a swimming pool.
However, many homeowners may not have a high amount of liability coverage attached to their homeowners’ policy. Certainly, they may not have enough to cover swimming pool injuries.
The standard amount of liability coverage in a homeowners policy is $300,000, which may be insufficient to cover the damages if someone drowns in the pool. If the amount of homeowner’s insurance is not enough, you would need to go after other assets of the homeowner to satisfy the judgment because the insurance company cannot be made to pay more than the policy limits.
Homeowners should increase their liability insurance if they have a swimming pool on their property and have invited guests. However, many of them are either trying to keep their policy premiums low or do not realize the dangers of their own swimming pool or the extent of their possible pool liability.
Florida State Senator Files Pool Safety Bill Inspired By Drowning
We here at Schrier Law Group are happy reporting that Florida State Senator Ed Hooper filed a bill in late December that requires stricter pool safety measures. It was inspired by the drowning death of a young boy. With the number of drownings in the state, something had to be done
The bill (SB 124) is called the “Kacen’s Cause Act” named after Kacen Howard, who drowned in his family’s pool a day before his third birthday in 2017. In response to the tragedy, his mother, Brittany Howard, worked to advocate for more effective safety requirements, resulting in the act.
Hooper, who represents voters in House District 16 in Pasco County, sponsored similar legislation in the 2020 session. That bill and its House companion died in committee.
What Does the Bill Alter
The bill would alter current Florida codes to require that pools have at least two of the state’s listed safety measures in place. Under current law, only one is required. One code details fence specifications that require a 4-foot mesh fence around an outward swinging, self-closing, self-latching gate that is separate from any other fence, wall, or other enclosure surrounding the yard.
Drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death behind motor vehicle crashes for children, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Other options require that all doors and windows with direct access to the pool are equipped with an exit alarm and that doors with direct access to the pool have a self-closing, self-latching device with a release mechanism of a certain height. Pool owners can also install a swimming pool alarm that sounds an alarm upon detection of an accidental or unauthorized entrance into the water.
The requirement of an additional code seeks to ensure that if one safety precaution fails, another will prevent an accident. In Kacen’s case, the pool had a fence around it, but it was too weak and failed to prevent the toddler from falling into the water.
The bill also prohibits a property owner from selling a house with a swimming pool without meeting the new requirements.
The Schrier Law Group handles many pool injury & drowning cases. Schrier Law has the resources necessary to help you and your family score a successful outcome in your case. It is important that you have your rights defended by someone who knows the law. Contact the Schrier Law Group for a personal injury attorney in Florida today!