The U।S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers the following tips for helping protect those you love from injury or death in the water.
To help prevent water-related injuries:
- Supervision when in or around the Water. Designate a responsible adult to watch young children while in the bath and all children swimming or playing in or around water. Supervisors of preschool children should provide “touch supervision”, be close enough to reach the child at all times. Adults should not be involved in any other distracting activity (such as reading, playing cards, talking on the phone, or mowing the lawn) while supervising children.
- Buddy System. Always swim with a buddy. Select swimming sites that have lifeguards whenever possible.
- Seizure Disorder Safety. If you or a family member has a seizure disorder, provide one-on-one supervision around water, including swimming pools. Consider taking showers rather than using a bath tub for bathing.
- Learn to Swim. Formal swimming lessons can protect young children from drowning. However, even when children have had formal swimming lessons, constant, careful supervision when children are in the water, and barriers, such as pool fencing, to prevent unsupervised access are necessary.
- Learn Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). In the time it might take for paramedics to arrive, your CPR skills could make a difference in someone’s life.
- Do Not Use Air-Filled or Foam Toys. Do not use air-filled or foam toys, such as "water wings", "noodles", or inner-tubes, in place of life jackets (personal flotation devices). These toys are not designed to keep swimmers safe.
- Avoid Alcohol. Avoid drinking alcohol before or during swimming, boating, or water skiing. Do not drink alcohol while supervising children.
If you have a swimming pool at home:
- Four-Sided Fencing. Install a four-sided pool fence that completely separates the house and play area of the yard from the pool area. The fence should be at least 4 feet high. Use self-closing and self-latching gates that open outward with latches that are out of reach of children. Also, consider additional barriers such as automatic door locks or alarms to prevent access or notify you if someone enters the pool area.
- Clear the Pool and Deck of Toys. Remove floats, balls and other toys from the pool and surrounding area immediately after use so children are not tempted to enter the pool area unsupervised.
If you are in or around natural bodies of water:
- Know the local weather conditions and forecast before swimming or boating. Strong winds and thunderstorms with lightning strikes are dangerous.
- Use U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets when boating, regardless of distance to be traveled, size of boat, or swimming ability of boaters.
- Know the meaning of and obey warnings represented by colored beach flags which may vary from one beach to another.
- Watch for dangerous waves and signs of rip currents (e.g., water that is discolored and choppy, foamy, or filled with debris and moving in a channel away from shore). If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore; once free of the current, swim toward shore.
At Buttafuoco & Associates, our well-trained New York drowning injury attorneys have helped many families seek compensation after an accident, defective product, or other case of negligence caused injury. To discuss your drowning or water-related accident with us, call our office today at 1-(800)-Now-Hurt for a free and confidential consultation.