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Tips for homeowners to prevent swimming pool drowning accidents

Florida's sunshine and temperate climate mean that many state residents and visitors enjoy swimming year-round. A large percentage of homeowners in the Tampa area have private pools which can pose numerous safety dangers, particularly to small children.

In Florida, drowning remains the number one cause of death for children under the age of five. Homeowners who have a pool on their property would be wise to heed the following safety advice.

  • Install a fence to completely surround a pool and separate it from a residence and yard. The fence should be at least five-feet high.
  • Never leave a child unattended near a swimming pool as a child can drown in a matter of minutes.
  • Always designate an adult to supervise a child who is swimming or playing near a swimming pool. The adult should remain vigilant and watchful at all times. 
  • Don't assume a child who knows how to swim cannot drown.
  • Don't rely upon flotation devices to prevent a child from drowning.
  • Ensure a pool area is equipped with appropriate emergency and rescue equipment.

While swimming pools are common in Florida and frequently associated with having fun, they also pose a great danger to young children as well as adults who do not know how to swim. Even in cases where a child falls into a pool and is rescued, it's very likely that he or she may suffer severe and disabling injuries.

In cases where a child suffers injuries related to a near drowning or drowns in a residential swimming pool, negligence may be a factor. Parents who have been impacted by a child's drowning death or near drowning would be wise to discuss their case with an attorney.

Source: Foundation for Aquatic Injury Prevention, "Drowning & Near Drowning Accidents," 2014

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