Child drowning deaths hit a record high in Florida in 2021

Reporter: Tiffany Rizzo Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
kids in pool
FILE: Kids in pool (Credit: WINK News)

Florida hit a grim record last year for the number of child drowning deaths. May marks national water swim safety month, and as we head into the summer, there are some precautionary measures parents should keep in mind.

The Florida Department of Children and Families says more children in Florida under the age of five died from drowning than in any other state.

In 2021, Florida reported the most child drownings in the last 12 years, increasing nearly 30%.

Going into the summer swim season, it’s important to keep basic safety tips in mind. Ensure an adult is constantly watching your child, have your kids take early swim lessons, CPR, and purchase pool fences.

Your community might also have bodies of water that aren’t fenced off since there are no laws requiring fencing around ponds, lakes, or canals.

Michael Haggard, a managing partner with Hagrid Law Firm, recommends homeowners talk with their HOA about their concerns.

“Get a group of parents together because there’s nothing as safe as having that barrier around the water. If they won’t do it, you really should be putting alarms on your doors, pool alarms that basically when you open a sliding glass door. It beeps continuously until you turn it off. And that way, you know if somebody has opened that door,” said Haggard.

With the population growing and more people vacationing here, many are not as familiar with water, but drownings can also occur inside the home. Bathtubs, buckets, and toilet bowls were all causes of drowning in 2021.

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