Summertime means pool lounging, beach trips, and lake activities, but these water activities can be dangerous for both children and adults when safety precautions are ignored.
According to the Center for Disease Control, about 11 people die every day from unintentional drownings. Children under the age of 14 account for about 1 in 5 of these deaths. Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children ages 1-4.
In New Hampshire, there are about 10 deaths each year attributed to drowning accidents. In 2015, there were six drownings in a six-week period of early summer. Authorities in the state estimate that there are an average of 390 pool-related fatalities in children under 16.
Water-related injuries can occur in all kinds of settings, even shallow kid pools.
According to the American Red Cross, more than half of all Americans lack basic swimming skills. The Red Cross along with organizations like Safe Kids Worldwide offer water safety tips to keep people safe during summer water activities. Water safety tips include:
Do not leave children unattended near water. It only takes a few minutes for a child to drown. Quick trips into the house or minutes distracted on your phone can be fatal. Do not leave a child with a flotation device as a substitute for supervision.
Learn CPR. A simple CPR class can save a life. While CPR skills are essential for parents of young children, it is also important to learn how to perform CPR on adults.
Create boundaries. Pools, hot tubs, and any kind of bodies of water in the backyard should be surrounded by a fence that will keep young children out.
Establish rules. Establishing rules like “no diving”, “no running near the pool”, and “stay close to a buddy”, help keep children safe around water.
Use the proper equipment. If you are in a boat, make sure everyone who lacks swimming skills has a life vest. Other flotation devices like floaties or water wings are not substitutes for life vests.
Learn how to swim. Swimming lessons provide important skills that can save your life, or save the life of a child or friend.
Know about rip currents. Rip currents are strong currents of water around beach waves that carry swimmers away from the shore. Beaches sometimes notify visitors when rip currents are strong. If you get caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until you are free of the current, then turn and swim to shore.
Get familiar with the surroundings. Swimming in the ocean or in lakes comes with unpredictable hazards: there may be drop-offs, temperature changes, or murky water. Get to know these surroundings, and make sure anyone swimming is able to handle these changes.
Even the strongest swimmers are not immune from drowning. Practice caution when swimming. Keep up to date with your swim skills and take classes, like CPR lessons, that can help you if something goes wrong.
Property owners and proprietors of public swimming pools should take the appropriate safety precautions to ensure no injuries occur on their property. If you or a loved one has suffered a water injury due to the negligence of another person, you may be entitled to compensation. Call our offices today at (888) 332-5855 to schedule a free consultation with NH’s best injury lawyers.