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Longtime drowning attorney shares important tips for National Water Safety Month

Expert tips to help prevent child drownings in SWFL
Posted at 8:35 AM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 10:51:56-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Experts say in the last two months, child drownings in Florida have jumped 70% compared to last year.

Longtime drowning attorney Michael Haggard says kids are home now more than ever, so it's important to implement layers of protection in around the home.

He shares a few of these helpful tips:

  • Put the phone and any distractions away while kids are playing in or around the water.
  • Never leave water hazards in your home unattended, such as a filled bath tub.
  • Set alarms on all doors leading outside, where kids can leave without permission.
  • Be sure to cover, fence, or deflate your home pool after use.
  • Note all nearby bodies of water and check for safety, such as pools, canals, and retention ponds.
  • Check that residential or apartment pools are properly fenced and locked when closed.

"We know there’s going to be problems, so when you have all those layers of protection working together you can prevent drowning. That’s what sad about drowning and handling all these cases I have for these families. At the end of the day you know it’s preventable," said Haggard.

He says 70% of child drownings happen when parents don't expect kids to be around a body of water.

May is National Water Safety month. It's also a good time to talk with young kids planning to play outside this Summer.

For more safety tips, click here to visit the National Drowning Prevention Alliance website.