Florida is the leading state for drowning deaths involving children under the age of five. It is also one of the leading states for boating accidents. Florida’s many waterways provide countless hours of fun, but they can also be deadly. There are many things that can be done to help prevent tragedies this summer:
1) Be careful of any water that is two inches or more in depth. A child can drown in minutes in just two inches of water, so it’s not just pools that need to be secured. Wading pools, inflatable pools, and even a bathtub can be dangerous for small children.
2) Secure all access to water. Most parents know that they need to secure a pool. However, a vacation home near a lake can pose new challenges, since toddlers are drawn to water. In many cases, drowning and water-related injuries occur when a small child wanders away from a supervised area and into water.
3) Teach children swimming skills and early. There are many swimming classes and courses available during the summer, and many focus on water safety. These classes can teach children the basics about water – such as the importance of never swimming along and the importance of not swimming after a meal – as well as the skills needed to get out of the water. For their own safety, children should be taught to swim early and should receive instruction until they are proficient swimmers and have a healthy respect for the water.
4) On a boat or any water recreational device, wear life jackets. Recreational boats – such as kayaks for kids and paddle boats – are more accessible and affordable than ever before. However, any water craft – even one that looks like a toy – poses risks. Have your children wear life jackets each time they get on a watercraft.
5) Rely on supervision. Good supervision is vital for ensuring that children do not take risks around the water. Supervision also ensures that children who do get into trouble in the water get help quickly. It is best to have groups of adults supervise children around water. Take breaks and work in shifts to ensure that adults stay alert and can focus on talking and relaxing as well as keeping everyone safe.
6) Teach your teens about diving safely. Older children and teens are inevitably drawn to Florida’s many water holes and swimming areas. Unfortunately, children and teens often take risks around the water, including diving into natural waterways. This behavior leads to many Florida spinal cord injuries and brain injuries, since in some cases the water is simply not deep enough for diving. Prohibit your teens and children from diving anywhere but the deep end of a pool. As well, teach your children and teens to evaluate the depth and safety of water before diving.
If your child or teen has been injured by a pool or water-elated accident, contact the Flaxman Law Group in Miami, Hollywood, or Homestead to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. You may have rights and options that can ensure that your child gets quality medical care and assistance while recovering from injuries. The Flaxman Law Group has already helped thousands of South Florida personal injury victims; put our decades of experience to work for you.