Summer is undoubtedly on its way and with kids out of school, it is time for them to be entertained by fun activities with family and friends. Nothing beats splashing in the pool on a hot New Port Richey afternoon. However, while frolicking in the pool is fun, it can also be extremely dangerous. Whether you have a backyard pool, are hitting the beach, or are planning on hanging out at a neighborhood pool, it’s important to review the swimming safety basics with your children every year.
Drowning: The Serious Statistics
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shares the dire statistic that from 2005 to 2014, there were about ten unintentional drowning deaths (non-boating related) every day in the United States. Approximately 20 percent of these accidents happen to children who are 14 years old and younger. For each child who drowns, another five children need emergency medical treatment for “nonfatal submersion injuries.” More than 50 percent of those treated in emergency rooms need to be hospitalized or need to receive further treatment – compared to a six percent hospitalization rate for unintentional injuries in general. The non-fatal injuries associated with drowning accidents can include severe brain damage that leads to permanent disabilities like memory issues, learning disabilities, and loss of basic functioning. These statistics paint a frightening picture when it comes to drowning accidents.
If your child has been injured – or worse – in a drowning accident, you need experienced legal counsel. There’s nothing as heartbreaking as a severely injured child, and if your child has been injured, you’re bound to be traumatized. While you focus on the important work of tending to your child’s health, allow the dedicated legal team at Dolman Law Group to help guide your claim toward just compensation. Our skilled personal injury attorneys have the determination, and compassion to help guide your claim toward its most positive resolution. Although we know that no amount of money can ever return your child to his or her pre-injury self, just compensation can help put you in the best position to ensure your child’s recovery.
Teach Swimming Skills
The CDC finds that children between the ages of one and four can reduce their risk of drowning by receiving formal swimming lessons. Swimming lessons, however, are a good idea for everyone. Do not, however, rely on formal swimming lessons to keep your children safe in the water. Supervision remains vital. Further, when it comes to drowning accidents, seconds can mean the difference between life and death. Learn CPR yourself, and help keep everyone safe at the pool this summer. The more quickly CPR is administered, the better the predicted outcome.
Keeping Your Kids Safe
There are a variety of rules for both grownups and the kids to closely adhere to at the pool:
Supervise, Supervise, Supervise – Always have a designated responsible adult supervise young children in the water – even if it’s just the water in the bathtub. When the kids are preschool age, the supervisor should provide “touch supervision,” which means the adult should be close enough to the child to be able to reach out and touch him or her at any time. This also means that you need one supervisory adult for every one or two preschool-aged children. Even when lifeguards are in attendance, adults who are supervising children should be focused on that sole activity and shouldn’t be reading, chatting, mowing the lawn, texting, or doing anything else that isn’t safely supervising the child or children. It’s important to remember that drowning happens quickly and quietly – supervisory vigilance is critical.
Teach Your Kids the Buddy System – When it comes to the water, always employ the buddy system – this goes for children and adults alike. Always choose swimming spots that employ lifeguards (whenever possible), and never go out in the water alone. Older children who have more swimming autonomy should make this a habit.
Remember That Pool Toys and Water Wings Are Not Safety Devices – While pool toys can be fun, teach your children that they’re not safety devices, and remember that careful supervision remains critical.
Put Away the Pool Toys – Keep your pool deck free of pool toys and everything else when the pool is closed – to avoid tempting young children from wandering outside unsupervised. Remember that children can be extremely resourceful, and shelving temptations can help mitigate the risk of children entering the pool unsupervised.
Pool Safely – The federal government’s Pool Safely campaigns mention two additional pool safety tips for you and your children:
- Advise children to stay away from pool drains (and make sure that the pools you swim in have compliant drain covers).
- Install an appropriate pool barrier (such as a sturdy, lockable pool fence), a durable pool cover, and alarms on and around your pool.
- Walk – Don’t Run! – Running on hard, wet surfaces is dangerous. Teach your children to walk whenever they’re near a pool.
- No Diving – Unless the pool has a specified diving area, never dive into a pool. Teach your children this one-size-fits-all policy.
- Slap on Sunscreen – Make sure that everyone wears protective sunscreen during peak-sun hours. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to hydrate. Have plenty of cold, refreshing water available for everyone. Eschew drinks that contain alcohol and caffeine when you’re soaking up the sun.
- Talk about It – Talk to your family regularly about water safety, and establish an emergency plan. Remind everyone that if someone is missing, it’s important to look in the water first. Seconds can count when it comes to a drowning accident.
If Your Child Has Been Injured in a Pool Accident, Contact Dolman Law Group in New Port Richey Today
When a child’s been injured – or worse – it’s nearly impossible to move forward. You don’t, however, need to face this tragedy alone. The experienced team at Dolman Law Group is here to help. Our personal injury attorneys have the skill, commitment, and compassion to help guide your claim toward just resolution, so please contact or call us at 727-853-6275 today.
Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652