TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (The News Service of Florida) - More children under 5-years-old in Florida die from drowning in pools than in any other state.
According to the state fire marshal’s office, there were 51 pool or hot tub related child deaths just last year, up 20 percent from 2016.
Residential swimming pools do not have the same safety standards and regulations as commercial and hotel pools.
This can be problematic since so many visitors to the state now rent through companies like Airbnb and VRBO, and families often spend vacations in single-family homes rather than traditional hotels.
Anna Farrar with the fire marshal’s office says homeowners and visitors alike need to take advantage of new technology to make sure tragedies don’t happen.
“There are different alarms that can detect splashes in water or door alarms that can go off if a door is opened without your knowledge," said Farrar. "So, these are just some of the tips and the safety precautions that we are advocating for.”
Florida has the second highest number of residential swimming pools in the country, and the state is working with vacation rental companies to better educate visitors about the potential dangers of staying in a house with a pool.
Drowning is the leading cause of death among young children in the state.