Articles Posted in Drowning Accident

kids-1567990_1920-300x225Experts have concluded that drowning deaths among children this year have doubled when compared to previous years. Why is that? The experts believe the pandemic is responsible for this uptick. 

According to doctors at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, they have seen 18 drowning deaths between March and May. This is a huge jump as in the past years within that same time frame, there have been only 7 deaths. 

The doctors attribute being “stuck” at home as the problem. Most infant and child drowning deaths happen at home in a child’s own pool, bathtub, hot tub, or other body of water in their home. So, with more children being at home, the opportunities for a drowning mishap go up. 

With more people heading out on the Gulf for scalloping season, new speed zones have been implemented.

Now the area is an idle speed/no wake zone. It’s something Hernando County has been working on for over a year and having to work with the state for the permitting to make it happen.

One of the big issues in the area is blind corners where oncoming boaters can’t see the traffic coming from the other side.

Some boaters have run ashore here since the channel is so close to the shore line and it can get pretty shallow.

A person can be ticketed if you go too fast in an idle speed zone. Those tickets cost around $73.

It is important to remember that the water is inherently dangerous, and when boating accidents occur, the aftermath can be severe. Sadly, serious injuries and drowning are all too common when boating, and it can be a difficult process for victims to recover financial compensation for their losses without the help of our Hernando County Boating Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton.

Boating accidents can happen for numerous reasons, but the most common are:

  • Collisions with another boat
  • Collisions with a stationary or submerged object
  • Equipment Failure
  • Operator Error
  • Speeding
  • Ignoring safety rules

One of the biggest issues surrounding boating accidents is that they can involve a wide variety of factors. Discovering exactly what happened and determining who is at fault can be a daunting task. However, our experienced boating accident lawyers know how to investigate these accidents to find out who is liable.

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Our Hernando County Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton want to wish you and your family a happy Fourth of July. We also want to remind you to celebrate safely this Wednesday and throughout the rest of the week. Whether you and your loved ones are planning backyard pool parties, barbecues, or heading to a fireworks show, safety should always be a priority, especially if children are around.

Here are a few tips to help you stay safe this Fourth of July:


While fireworks are a tradition on July 4th, they are also responsible for sending an average of 230 people to the emergency room each day during the month around the holiday, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. We always encourage you to attend shows put on by professionals, but we know that some people are just going to light their own. If you plan on using fireworks, be sure to do so safely, follow instructions, keep spectators at a safe distance, and monitor children closely. You want to comply with Florida laws, so please review: Under Florida law, only sparklers, approved by the Florida Division of State Fire Marshal, are legal for consumer usage. It is illegal to use exploding and/or flying fireworks in Florida, which include: shells and mortars, multiple tube devices, Roman candles, rockets and firecrackers.

Swimming Pools

Pool parties are common on Fourth of July, so it makes sense to remind you to always supervise children, watch for diving into shallow water, excessive horseplay that can get out of hand, and running near pools. Drowning accidents can and do happen all too often, but by keeping a vigilant eye of the premises, you can prevent these tragedies.


Most people pull out their grills on the Fourth. Always be careful of handling propane and charcoal grills, never grill indoors, and be careful when using lighter fluid to avoid preventable burn injuries. Keep children, pets and flammable materials away from grills and never leave them unattended.


Most people throw a few drinks back on the Fourth. If you plan on drinking, remember to do so responsibly and to designate a sober driver if you need to get home. The Fourth of July week/weekend sees high rates of alcohol-related auto accidents, so expect to see increased patrols on the roads.

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We all know that there are things in our homes to keep away from children. However, you may be unaware of some things that could be very dangerous when in the hands of little ones.

The following five things are hidden hazards in most households, according to the Consumer Product Safety.


If swallowed, small powerful magnets can attract inside the body and block, twist or tear the intestines. If you think your child has swallowed a magnet, it is best to seek medical attention immediately.

Recalled Products

Stay on top of the latest safety recalls and get dangerous products out of the home. Sign up for recall notices now at


Do not place a crib or playpen near a window blind. Children can strangle on blind so it is best to install cordless blinds or safety devices on blind cords. It is also a good idea to install window guards or stops to prevent falls.


Kids will climb, there is no doubt about that. Top-heavy furniture, TVs and stoves can tip over and crush young children, so it is very necessary to make these objects more stable by installing anchors and brackets.

Pools & Spa Drains

The suction from a pool or spa drain is powerful enough to trap a child, or  even an adult, underwater. Always inspect pools and spas for missing or broken drain covers.

If your child has been injured on someone else’s property, the property owner could be liable for damages. Our Hernando County Premises Liability Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help identify the responsible party.

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Summer is here, and we know you want to get outdoors with the kids. Whether it is swimming, riding a bike, taking a summer night stroll or even just opening a window to let that Florida breeze in, safety should always come first. The following simple steps will keep your loved ones safe now and in the future:

Pool Safety

The CPSC estimates that nearly 300 children under 5 years old drown each year in swimming pools and spas.

  • Teach your kids how to swim or sign them up for swimming lessons.
  • If you have a pool, install a four-sided fence around it.
  • Learn CPR.
  • Never leave children unattended around bodies of water. Drowning accidents can happen in a matter of seconds.
Playground Safety

Sadly, more than 200,000 children go to U.S. hospital emergency rooms each year with injuries from playground equipment.

  • Do not attach ropes, jump ropes, clotheslines or pet leashes to play equipment.
  • Make sure play equipment is maintained and is not broken before allowing children to play.
Window Falls

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A Holiday Inn Express maintenance employee has been credited with saving a toddler from drowning in the hotel pool this weekend.

The man decided to check the busy hotel pool before leaving work, and that’s when he noticed a 2-year-old floating about a foot underwater.

Reports indicate that the boy was limp, almost lifeless, but the man lifted him out of the pool and placed him over his knee to release any water in the boy’s body. The child then opened his eyes.

7079820043_e66619c2f4_zThe boy’s family was in the pool but lost track of the toddler, according to reports.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for every child that drowns, another four will need emergency medical attention for near-drowning injuries. The extent of near-drowning injuries can depend on various factors, such as the length of time under water, the temperature of the water, the amount of water aspirated, the type of water and if the victim suffered from any pre-accident medical conditions. Statistics do show that at least one third of survivors will sustain moderate to severe brain injuries including memory loss, learning disabilities and permanent loss of basic functioning.

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The Fourth of July is one of the most celebrated holidays in the United States. The warm weather, summer vacations and patriotic sentiment make this a fun and relaxing holiday. The bad news about this holiday is that thousands of people are injured in accidents caused by the negligence of others on the days surrounding the Fourth.

Several activities, accidents and products may result in serious injuries on the Fourth of July, including:

Fireworks: Fireworks are highly regulated under Florida law and safety advocacy groups have been advising people to stop using these products for decades. Despite their dangers, fireworks continue to be an integral part of Fourth of July celebrations. Please remember that these devices can cause serious injury when improperly designed, manufactured or handled.

DUI Accidents: Holidays are usually a time to gather with friends and family to eat, drink and have a relaxing time. These occasions are also closely tied with the consumption of alcohol and, unfortunately, that usually means people drinking and driving. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the Fourth of July has many fatal car accidents, and an estimated 40 percent of those crashes are attributed to drunk driving.

Barbeque Grills: Grilling is a big tradition for many Florida residents around the Fourth of July holiday. However, any time open flames are involved there is a serious risk for injury and burns. In some cases, grills may be defective and can malfunction, resulting in fires and causing injuries. Children can easily injure themselves on grills due to a lack of supervision by adults.

Boating and Water Accidents: To celebrate Independance Day, many people head to Pine Island Beach, Hernando Beach, the WeekiWachee River or the Withlacoochee River to swim, participate in watersports or just to spend the day relaxing on a boat. While boating and water-related activities can be a great way to spend a weekend, they also carry high risks such as drowning and other types of accidents. Distracted, impaired and inexperienced boat drivers can cause water crashes resulting in serious injuries. Moreover, children who are not properly supervised or do not have adequate flotations devices can easily drown or suffer in near-drowning accidents.

Contact a Hernando County Personal Injury Attorney Today For a Free Consultation

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Hernando County swimming pool accidents can take place on public and private property. When swimming pool injuries occur, they are usually the result of negligent actions or lack of action by private pool owners or public pool operators.

It is important to get help from a Hernando County Swimming Pool Accident Lawyer if you have lost a family member or were seriously harmed due to the negligence of a private pool owner or public pool or waterpark operator. At Whittel & Melton, our Injury Lawyers stand ready to represent your personal injury claims due to negligence.

8596781337_05b272388a_zSwimming pool accident injuries can happen in or out of the water. Harm may be caused by poorly maintained swimming pool drains that can result in a child being trapped underwater. An accident can also occur if a child somehow manages to gain access to a swimming pool through a broken fence or gate. Other swimming pool injuries are the result of wet or slick surfaces around pools, inattentive on duty lifeguards or distracted adults.

Swimming pool accident injuries can include:

  • Drowning
  • Near drowning
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries

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The Fourth of July is meant to be celebrated with loved ones and friends, so don’t let a preventable accident land you in the emergency room this weekend. The most common accidents from Independence Day festivities arise from fun happenings and events, such as fireworks displays, backyard barbecues, pool parties and trips to the beach or lake.

The following injuries can easily be prevented this year, so take the time to review this list before the festivities begin.

fireworks betch1. Fireworks-Related Injuries.

An elderly man drowned Saturday morning after his canoe flipped in Hernando County.

According to officials, the 83-year-old man and his wife were canoeing on the Weeki Wachee River Saturday morning when the canoe tipped.

The man died, but his wife survived the accident.

canoe-49179_640Officials are still conducting an investigation into the cause of the accident.

It is almost June and the summer season is officially upon us. With that said, our Hernando County Boating Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton urge you to remember safety procedures when boating. The number one rule for safety is to always wear a PFD or personal floatation device, also known as a life jacket, when near large bodies of water or while in any type of boat, including smaller watercrafts such as canoes and jet skis.

Keep in mind that it is never too late to take a swimming class, and there are also numerous types of boating classes available as well. Learning how to properly swim or safely operate your boat can keep you and those closest to you safe from unnecessary harm.

Anytime someone loses a loved one unexpectedly it is a tragic and heartbreaking event. In cases where another person’s actions, or even a defective product such as a canoe or PFD could have caused the accident, the situation is only worse.

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