Summer fun in the sun is nothing without swimming. As thousands of kids flock to the pool, it’s a good time to brush up on water safety. While the pool can be an excellent way to beat the heat it can also be a deadly if underestimated. Each year, the American Red Cross, the National Safety Council and various local agencies launch swimming safety campaigns to inform the public. You can look to your local fire and police departments for more information.
Drowning happens fast. When children drown, parents and caretakers are often quoted as saying “I only looked away for a second.” According to the National Safety Council, about nine people die from drowning in the U.S. each day. A good rule of thumb is that the younger the child, the greater the risk, but teens and young adults tend to have less concern for their safety in general. Drowning happens most often to those aged 5-24.
The tips below will help keep you and your family safe as you enjoy the pool this summer:
- Never leave children unsupervised. Never trust older children to supervise younger children. Attentive adult supervision is the best way to prevent drowning.
- Teach children to always ask permission to go near water. Make sure young children under 5 always wear approved life jackets near water but never rely on life-jackets completely.
- Keep home pools and spas surrounded by fencing that meets local code to prevent neighborhood children from wandering in unsupervised.
- Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well but remember that no one is drown-proof.
- Avoid alcohol consumption. Alcohol impairs judgement, delays reaction time and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.
- Do not rely on lifeguards. Don’t drop children off at the pool. Stay and watch your children. With young children and inexperienced swimmers, it is best to stay within arm’s reach.
- Learn CPR and rescue techniques. Always have a first aid kit and emergency contact list easily accessible.
- Share safety instructions with all supervising adults.
- If you have a home pool or spa, create a home water safety plan and make all family members are aware of it. Enforce rules without fail. Set restrictions based on each person’s abilities.
- Do not swim during a storm.
- If a child is missing, look for him/her in the pool first. Seconds matter in a drowning incident.
Swimming is great exercise for the whole family and a wonderful way to enjoy the summer months. However, drowning accidents happen quickly and water safety should be taken very seriously.
If you or a loved one is involved in a personal injury accident due to poor water safety, contact The Personal Injury Lawyer Department at The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP. A personal injury lawyer at The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP can inform you of legal options you may not know you have.