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Police investigate after 8-year-old drowned in neighbor’s Fort Lauderdale pool. These incidents on the rise, the CDC says.

While packing a cooler with juice boxes on the way to the community pool, racking their brains to recall if they remembered the sunscreen, drowning is the last thing a parent wants to think about. But, according to the latest available data from the CDC, they should. 

In its latest report on accident drownings in the United States, the Center for Disease Control reported that these incidents are on the rise. About 4,500 people drowned in the United States from 2020 through 2022, an increase of approximately 500 people per year since 2019, the numbers show. The CDC pits drowning as the leading cause of death for children ranging in age from 1 to 4 years old. The rate of drowning increased 28% from 2019 and 19% in adults from 65 to 74 years old. 

Broward County Incident

Monday in Broward County, parents got the kind of nightmarish news no one should have to receive when an 8-year-old boy was found unresponsive at the bottom of a neighbor’s pool. The owners of the pool where the boy was found, located at the 1000 block of Northwest 4th Avenue, belonged to a family who told police they did not know him, according to reporting from the Miami Herald. The homeowner told police that he woke up from a nap around 6:30 p.m. when he found the child’s shoes and saw him unresponsive at the bottom of the pool. 

Emergency responders rushed the boy to Broward Health Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. The boy’s family said they allegedly paid a nanny to pick him up from school but that when she “saw him walking down the street with friends … she turned around,” according to the article. 

Family members were searching for the boy when he did not come home from school and were later notified of his death. Police are investigating how the boy got into the backyard and the pool but believe the incident to be accidental. 

Leesfield & Partners 

No one suspects that a day at the beach or by the pool will end in tragedy, but Leesfield & Partners has seen that, many times, they do. These devastating deaths are preventable and have forever ruined the lives of families all over Florida, a state known for its beaches and year-round summers. In the sunshine state, according to data from the Florida Department of Health, enough children under 5 years old die from accidental drowning each year to fill approximately three to four preschool classrooms. 

This heart-wrenching number goes to show just how prevalent the issue can be and Leesfield & Partners has helped dozens of families over the years pick up the pieces to try and find some semblance of justice out of the bleakest of circumstances. 

Earlier this year, the law firm filed a suit against an Airbnb host and the online rental company after a 2-year-old drowned in a pool on the property. Despite quick action and pulling the child from the water, she died weeks later at the hospital. It was later discovered that the home, in Osceola County, was not up to par with Florida regulations in terms of its child safety railings.

Another case involving a toddler who drowned in South Florida that was handled by Leesfield & Partners attorneys resulted in a seven-figure settlement. In that instance, a defective pool fence was inadequately installed, resulting in the toddler’s death. 

Pool Safety Requirements and Tips

Miami-Dade Ordinances for residential swimming pools require safety barriers for all new pools that are no shorter than 4 feet tall and enclose the pool entirely. Pool gates need to have spring locks that can fasten automatically. Failure to install required safety measures that meet ordinance standards would result in a failed inspection. 

Below are some tips to stay safe this summer:

  • Always monitor children near the water.
  • Invest in swimming lessons for children.
  • Dress children in brightly colored swimsuits that will not blend in under water so that they are easier to spot while swimming.  
  • Follow Florida regulations when it comes to pool fences, gates and door alarms. 
  • Make sure all drains are covered and expressly warn children to steer clear of any and all underwater openings. 
  • Take a CPR class and stay up to date on the latest emergency procedures.
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