Summer is drawing near, but before you head to the nearest beach or pool, you should brush up on your water safety knowledge. There are a number of injuries that can occur in or near the water, including fatal drowning accidents. Drowning is one of the leading causes of death for young children, but many of these tragic accidents are avoidable. Here are our top water safety tips to help you and your family stay safe this summer.
Water Safety Habits
- When swimming at the beach or in a pool, always use designated areas that are supervised by lifeguards.
- Never swim alone or allow others to do so, even if there are lifeguards on duty or other people around. Swimming with a buddy means that there is someone nearby to help if you need it, and who is already paying attention to you.
- Enroll your children in age-appropriate swim classes. The entire family should be comfortable and safe in the water.
- Never leave children alone near water, including the beach. You should also never place young children into the care of other children. Teach your children to ask you for permission to go near the water so you are aware of their location.
- Always supervise children in the water. If they are particularly young, always remain within arm’s reach of them. Avoid distraction when you are supervising children in the water since even a few seconds can be enough for a child to drown.
- If your child is particularly young on inexperienced in the water, always have them wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket around the water. You shouldn’t rely on the live jackets as the only form of protection, but they can buy you precious time in an emergency.
- Establish safety rules, and enforce them. Perhaps your younger children always need to have an adult in the water with them, or can only be in the pool for a half hour before they need to get out and take a break. Don’t allow children to run near water, have breath-holding contests, engage in horseplay, or play near dangerous features, such as suction fitting, drains, rocks, jetties, or piers.
- Take care around all bodies of water, even if you don’t plan to enter. This includes while hiking, fishing, or walking pets. Slippery surfaces near water can cause falls.
- When boating, kayaking, standup paddle boarding, or using other watercraft, all occupants should wear an approved life vest at all times, even on the dock.
- Never mix alcohol and water. Alcohol can impair your ability to make judgment calls, which can lead to tragic accidents, whether you’re swimming, boating, diving, or even wading.
- Take a CPR course through your local Red Cross or other agency. This is a life-saving technique that can buy you time until emergency responders can arrive.
- Always have reaching or throwing equipment on hand in case it is needed to rescue someone from the water. You should also have a fully stocked first-aid kit and a charged cell phone on hand for emergencies.
- If a child is missing, always check the water first. Seconds count when it comes to preventing drowning accidents.
At the Paulsen Law Group, we are committed to your family’s safety. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, we may be able to help you recover compensation. Our Dunedin personal injury attorneys are ready to help you discover your legal options today.
Contact our legal team at (727) 270-8260 to schedule a free consultation.