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Minorities and Children Under Age 5 at Top Risk for Drowning
In sunny Florida, swimming is a top pastime for kids out of school for the summer. It's a fun way to beat the heat, but it's also dangerous if safety precautions aren't followed, say personal injury attorneys in Orlando. In fact drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children age four and younger. And the top culprit isn't the beach, the public pool or the water park - It's your backyard family swimming pool.
Consider these figures collected by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and USA Swimming:
- 85 percent of all fatal drownings happen in home pools or spas;
- 73 percent of the fatalities and 50 percent of the injuries involving children younger than 15 years occur in residential pools and spas;
- Children 3 and younger accounted for 67 percent of reported fatalities and 64 percent of injuries;
- African American children ages 5 to 19 are six times more likely to drown in pools than are white and Hispanic children in the same age group;
- 70 percent of African American children and 62 percent of Hispanic children cannot swim, placing them at an even higher risk for drowning.
"The lives of countless children can be saved this summer," CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum told reporters recently. "Take simple safety steps today—teach all children to swim, put a fence around all pools, and always watch children in and around the water."
To help keep your kids safe from pool and drowning accidents, attorneys with Orlando's Todd E. Copeland & Associates offer these tips:
- Enroll children in local swimming classes and camps. You'll find plenty offered by private providers and organizations like the YMCA;
- Supervise your children 100 percent of the time they're in or near the swimming pool, and never overestimate their swimming abilities. Even experienced swimmers can become drowning victims;
- Erect fencing around your swimming pool and spa and cover them when not in use. Also purchase drain covers and install a pool alarm system to alert you if a child wanders outside;
- Keep a fully charged portable or cell phone near the pool should an emergency arise;
- Learn CPR from a qualified trainer with a private provider or an organization like the YMCA or American Red Cross.
Summertime is the best time in Florida. Enjoy yours safely and help your children do the same. Should you or your child suffer a swimming pool- or spa-related injury or loss, contact Todd E. Copeland & Associates at 407-999-8995 in Orlando or 407-847-7277 in Kissimmee.