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Police investigating after 5-year-old drowned in Miami-Dade pool. What to know to stay safe in the water this summer

A 5-year-old boy died Thursday night after drowning in the backyard pool of a home in Miami-Dade County, according to reporting from The Miami Herald. 

Emergency responders were called out to the home, located on the 14800 block of SW 168th Terrace, just before 8 p.m. Thursday. The boy was taken to HCA Florida Kendall Hospital for emergency treatment but was pronounced dead at the hospital. 

Additional details were not immediately available Friday. The incident is under investigation by the Miami-Dade Homicide Detectives. 

The death comes after another boy, 8, was found dead in a neighbor’s pool earlier this month. The boy in that case was allegedly supposed to be picked up by a nanny who saw the boy walking home with friends and turned around, according to previous reporting from local news outlets. The neighbor told police he did not know the boy and only discovered him when he saw children’s shoes near the pool gate. 

About 5 million tourists flock to Key West every year and, with the summer kicking off and the Independence Day holiday looming, more people will be in the water. At least five tourists drowned in Florida waters in the last two weeks alone and one paddle boarder who vanished off of Key Biscayne is still missing. Safety near the water is crucial though it can be easy for swimmers and tourists to let their guards down as life on islands like Key West or Key Biscayne lulls people into a false sense of security.

Previous Cases 

The death of a child is the worst fate imaginable for a parent and Leesfield & Partners attorneys have been present to the immense toll that loss can take on parents and loved ones. In its 48 years of practicing personal injury law in South Florida, a state that sees enough drowned children under the age of five to fill three to four preschool classrooms, the law firm has guided numerous families through the legal system in the aftermath of their child’s unthinkable and avoidable deaths. 

Leesfield & Partners secured a seven-figure settlement for a family whose toddler drowned in South Florida. In that case, an inadequately installed child safety fence around the pool was found. 

Earlier this year, Leesfield & Partners attorneys filed a lawsuit against Airbnb and the owner of a rental property after a 2-year-old girl drowned in the house’s pool. It took mere seconds for the child to fall into the water and drown and, despite quick action from adults who pulled her out, she died weeks later at the hospital. The home was not up to par with Florida regulations in terms of its child safety railings. 

Some of the strictest pool safety laws in the United States exist in Florida. In Miami-Dade County, Ordinances require all new pools to be equipped with safety barriers. The Department of Planning and Zoning will mark inspections as failed for residential pools that do not have barriers or ones with barriers that do not meet the requirements such as minimum height measurements and a barrier that encloses the pool entirely. Pool gates must have a spring lock mechanism that fastens automatically. 

In short-term rentals, as was the case with the 2-year-old child who tragically drowned, there are additional requirements to meet with rules that vary by location. In Miami-Dade County, some of these regulations include door alarms and latches in addition to safety barriers. 

Pool Safety Tips

  • Keep toys away from the pool when not in use to prevent children from falling into the water when potentially trying to reach for them. 
  • Always completely remove a pool cover before jumping in to use the pool 
  • Make sure all external doors leading to a pool area or body of water like a lake or ocean are equipped with proper locks and alarms that way, even if a child manages to unlock the door, you will know that it has been opened. 
  • Dress children in brightly colored swimsuits so that, if the unthinkable happens, they are easier to spot in the water. 
  • Never leave a child unattended near a body of water. 
  • Children who cannot swim should always wear a life vest and be in the water with an adult. 
  • All pools should be equipped with child safety fences and locks. 
  • Invest in swim classes and water safety courses for children and adults. No one expects tragedy, but knowing what to do in case of an emergency can save a life. 
  • Take a CPR course to know what to do in case of an emergency.
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