travel of children on water in the boat

May is Water Safety Month

With summer quickly approaching many of us will find ourselves heading to the beach or spending some time relaxing by the pool. No matter your age, it is important to stay alert and be mindful around water. In South Florida, pools, beaches, and lakes are everywhere.

With the month of May being Water Safety Month, what better time to bring awareness to the importance of water safety and learning how to swim. 

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of death in children 1-4 years of age. For children ages 5–14, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death after motor vehicle crashes. Drowning injuries can cause brain damage and other serious outcomes, including long-term disability.

Drowning can happen even when children are not expected to be near water, such as when they gain unsupervised access to pools. 

The Florida Legislature enacted the Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act that defines the types of covers and barriers that must be utilized in Florida. Section 515.27 requires that new residential swimming pools have at least one of the following in place in order to receive a final inspection and certificate of completion:

  •   Pools must meet barrier requirements.
  •   Pools must be equipped with approved safety covers.
  •   Alarms must be placed on doors and windows with access to pools.
  •   Doors must have self-closing devices at least 54 inches high.

Homeowners and property management companies are legally responsible for providing safe swimming pools. This includes maintaining the areas around the pool so that guests do not get injured by slipping and falling.

Water Smarts & Safety 

Take these precautions when you are around water (even if you are not planning to swim). 

  • Know your limitations, including physical fitness and medical conditions.
  • Never swim alone; swim where there are lifeguards and/or water watchers present.
  • Wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket appropriate for your weight and size and the water activity. Always wear a life jacket while boating, regardless of swimming skill.
  • Swim sober.
  • Understand the dangers of hyperventilation and hypoxic blackout.
  • Know how to call for help.
  • Understand and adjust for the unique risks of the water environment you are in, such as:
    • River currents.
    • Ocean rip currents.
    • Water temperature.
    • Shallow or unclear water.
    • Underwater hazards, such as vegetation and animals.

Our South Florida swimming pool accident attorneys strongly urge parents and caregivers to always supervise children whenever they are near a pool or around water. 

Related Resources: 

Water Safety | American Red Cross

Home – National Water Safety Month (phta.org)