Each year as summer heats up, Florida tourists and residents alike flock to the state’s beaches, pools and lakes as a means of cooling off and having fun. Unfortunately, as recreational water use increases, so does the risk for a Florida drowning accident.
In 2009, there were 381 accidental drowning deaths in Florida alone and 3,306 in the U.S. It is not surprising that unintentional drowning is the leading cause of death of children between the ages of 1 and 4 in the state of Florida.
Drowning can happen very quickly and with very little warning. Small children can lose consciousness after being submerged for two minutes, and brain damage can occur after four minutes.
While not all drowning accidents result in death, those who live often suffer severe health outcomes as a result of water asphyxiation. People who survive a near-drowning can experience long-term consequences such as:
- Permanent brain damage
- Heart arrhythmia
- Respiratory damage
Fortunately, this type of accident is highly preventable. People responsible have a duty to protect visitors from possible harm by taking certain precautions including:
- Proper maintenance of all equipment
- Provide adequate supervision
- Utilization of life-saving devices
- Posting warning signs
Owners of swimming pools and hot tubs on private property are also required to take such measures as a means to protect their visitors or customers. Those who do not take sufficient safety measures can be held liable for any drowning-related injury or death.