Saturday, April 24, 2010

Florida Starts Prosecuting Parents in Some Child Drowning Cases

Even though it can be difficult, prosecutors and crime scene investigators in Florida are beginning to build stronger cases against caregivers at child drownings — but only when the circumstances are extreme. They say they are angered by instances of obvious child neglect, and they hope it will reduce the chances of another tragedy.

There have been at least four prosecutions of adults in Florida pool drowning cases in the past two years, and many more in bathtub drownings. That includes a grandmother who went shopping and left a 5-year-old to wander out to an apartment pool; a woman passed out from alcohol and cocaine; and another woman who put her baby in the bathtub, then left to take a nap.

The best way to prevent drownings — just taking the time to watch your children — gets overlooked. The Florida Child Abuse Death Review Committee suggests threat of prison time could drive home the importance of supervision and the installation of proper pool safety barriers.

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