The American Academy of Pediatrics recently released new guidelines, suggesting that swimming lessons for children start early—around one year of age. The organization has stated that early swimming lessons can help reduce the risk of drowning.
In addition to learning to learning to swim, there are other things parents and caretakers in Homestead and South Florida will want to do to reduce the risk of childhood pool injuries and drowning:
- Learn CPR: Parents should get CPR classes and insist that all caretakers have CPR and first aid training.
- Properly fence in swimming pool areas: Teaching children to swim, even at a young age, does not eliminate the risk of drowning. Experts recommend isolating any pool from the house and completing enclosing it with a fence. Make sure the fence has a self-locking gate and, ideally, an alarm to let you know whether anyone enters the area. Not only can this help homeowners avoid injury on their property but it can also help protect them from Homestead premises liability claims.
- Use extra caution with inflatable pools: Inflatable pools pose added dangers and according to the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) about 47 child deaths were linked to these types of pools between 2004 and 2006. Since these pools are not permanent, they are not usually surrounded by fencing, which makes them a risk. If they have soft sides, it makes it especially easy for children to fall in and have trouble getting out. If you decide to have an inflatable pool, consider buying one you deflate and take inside after every pool session or invest in a traditional pool or at least proper fencing to keep the area safe.
- Use drain covers: In whirlpools, spas, and pools the pressure of the water can cause children to get stuck. Drain covers can help prevent this.
- Understand that nothing substitutes for adult supervision: When children are anywhere near water, they need to be supervised by adults at all times. Leaving a child alone even for a minute, even with another child “supervising” can lead to a tragedy. When supervising, adults may wish to have a few adults overseeing swimming so they can take breaks.
- Use extra caution around natural bodies of water: In South Florida, vacation homes and other properties on the water carry special risks. Children may be naturally attracted to these bodies of water and they are usually difficult to fence in. In addition, wildlife such as crocodiles can remain in this water, posing a danger to kids. If you have a waterfront property, consider a fence around your home, instead, with a self-locking gate to keep children on the premises.
- Use extra caution on trips: When you can’t supervise children but they will be around water, make sure the water area is safe and that enough adults are around for proper safety. At camp and at friends’ houses, make sure your children are kept safe around water.
If your child has been injured in a pool or body of water, contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free consultation with a Homestead premises liability attorney. Our team can discuss your potential case for you and can help you understand the strengths of your potential claim.