How to Avoid Swimming Pool Accidents

Warmer weather and summer vacation means kids are flocking to swimming pools. Backyard pools are a wonderful luxury, but pool accidents are common and can result in devastating injuries. Drowning is the leading cause of death among children ages one to four in Florida, and for every one who drowns, four suffer some degree of brain damage from near drowning.

In 2000, in order to reduce the incidence of backyard pool accidents, injuries and deaths, Florida legislators passed a series of safety-related statutes. The Preston de Ibern/McKenzie Merriam Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act is designed to help pool owners deny, delay or detect unauthorized entry to the area of a swimming pool by means of certain precautionary measures and devices.

The law states that every privately owned pool must have at least one of the following:

  • A barrier – A pool must have a surrounding barrier at least 4 feet high with no gaps, separate from any other enclosure and be a safe distance from the water. If the fence has a gate it must open outward and be self-closing.
  • A pool cover – When a pool is unattended it must be covered by either a manual or power-operated cover
  • Doors that latch – Any entrance to the pool area must be self closing and self latching
  • Exit alarm – Windows and doors to pool must have an exit alarm that sounds when a person enters the pool enclosure.

In addition, the Department of Health strongly suggests that pool owners attend a drowning prevention education program, and have basic water safety and CPR skills.

If your child was injured or killed in someone else’s backyard swimming pool because the property owners failed to take proper safety precautions, you might be eligible to file a premises liability or wrongful death claim. Speak to a personal injury lawyer about your right to pursue compensation. For your free consultation, call the Palm Harbor Law Office of Paul B. Genet, P.A. at 727-538-8865 or contact us online.

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