Articles Tagged with supervision

Swimming-Pool-Safety-150x150During the spring and summer months, there is an increase in the number of reported drownings and near drownings throughout the United States.  For many warm weather States like California, Texas, and Florida, there are risks of drowning just about year round due to the climate and the abundance of swimming pools, water parks, canals, rivers, and other water ways. Tragically, Texas holds the distinction for being the number one State for child pool drownings.  Children can be especially at risk for drowning when there is a lack of adult supervision.  Certainly, adult supervision should be provided any time that a child is in or near a swimming pool or other accessible swimming area or water way.
While it is difficult to believe or understand, many child drownings and near drownings take place when there are a number of adults in or near the swimming pool area.  How can this happen? How can a child drown with adults just feet away from the swimming pool area?  A drowning can take place in a swimming pool when the adults in the area are otherwise occupied in the acts of talking, eating, drinking, sleeping, surfing (the internet), texting, web browsing, watching a sporting event, or simply talking on a mobile phone.  The presence of adults in or near a swimming pool area is not the same as watchful and attention adult supervision.  As such, it is important to make sure that adult supervision is in place any time that a child is in or near a swimming pool.
Certainly, if a school, summer camp, or day care center is in session and swimming is a current activity – there should be designated and trained staff members in place to watch over the children and to place safety above all other concerns and distractions.  A swimming pool or swimming area is not a good place for multi-tasking.  As such, a person should not have a mobile device in hand and in use while assigned or engaged in the act of supervising children in or near a swimming pool area.

medical_1000006509-120613intIn Florida, a child under the age of 6 years old cannot be held liable for his or her own negligence or carelessness.  This is the law in the State of Florida.  Why is this particular law in place?  The policy reasons behind this law is based on the known fact that young children lack safety awareness and lack good judgment especially when near something interesting or fun in appearance like a body of water, pool, playground, etc . . . .
Let’s take an example.  Let’s say that a 5 year old child is enrolled in a day care center.   The child walks into an unlocked janitor / cleaning supply closet.  While in the closet, the child sees some brightly colored blue jug.  The child opens the jugs and pours the chemicals over his or her head.  The child then sustains significant and painful burns that require an extended hospitalization and result in lifelong and permanent scarring to the face.  This is certainly a tragic incident; however it is an incident that is foreseeable and preventable.   The door should have been locked and all dangerous chemicals should have been kept out of the reach of the child. Furthermore, with constant and consistent supervision, the child would have been re-directed or kept from the area of danger.   This 5 year old child was injured due to a lack of supervision. The child cannot be faulted for his actions because he was under the age of 6 years old at the time of the incident.
For children 6 and older, a portion of the fault can be attributed to the child; however, the age and maturity of the child are considered for children 6 and older.  If the same incident happened with a 6 year old, it would be my opinion that all of the fault for this particular incident would still fall upon the Florida Day Care Center which failed to properly supervise this child.