As the hot summer rolls through, kids and parents are flocking to pools, lakes, and water parks, all hoping to beat the heat with some refreshing water fun. But water activities can pose a serious risk to your child’s safety, and personal injury attorneys in Florida want to offer some tips and warnings for all parents as they finish out the summer.
Water safety starts with knowing your environment, and being aware of the surroundings and any dangers that you may encounter. Pick your activities based on your child’s abilities, and ensure that your children—and you!—are up to date on your swim lessons. A good place to start in assessing your kid’s skills is to ask, experts say. See if your child feels comfortable swimming without floaties, or in a slightly deeper pool. Whenever they are testing limits, or they feel uncomfortable, they should have the option to turn back, or play in the shallow end for a while.
Parents should also teach water safety in every environment, personal injury lawyers in Florida recommend. Show your child the exits in an indoor pool, or the nearest foothold or grabbing spot in a lake or pond. If you are in an unfamiliar setting, take a moment to notice the exits, hand holds, and find the deep end of the water so that you and your kids are not caught unaware.
Many pool companies, water amusement parks, and other swimming facilities have adopted the ABCDs of Water Safety to help parents mitigate risk and danger when their kids are swimming. If you have a pool in your home or neighborhood, and may be responsible for your children and their friends throughout the summer, these rules are helpful in promoting safety first.
A stands for adult supervision, and provides parents with general guidelines based on their children’s’ age and swimming ability. For example, adults should swim no less than an arm’s length away from a toddler in the pool, even one in a flotation device. With older children, parents should take turns watching out for the swimmers without distractions—no cell phones, books, magazines, or chatting.
B is for barriers, beaches, and boating to cover a range of water-related dangers. Most community and personal pools have rules about fencing and barriers that separate the body of water from the general public. Periodically, you should check on your barrier to ensure that it is not broken or weak, and will hold up. When going to the beach, parents should look for one with a lifeguard on duty—it never hurts to have an extra set of eyes!
Boating safety is extremely important, especially because most boating occurs in a larger, less contained body of water such as the lake or ocean. Everyone on the boat should be equipped with a lifejacket at all times, and should know how to swim long distances to shore in the event of an emergency. Boat owners should make sure that they are prepared for any possibility of injury or disaster.
C stands for taking classes in swimming and water safety. D is for drain safety. Drains are a leading danger, especially when they do not work properly in the pool, or trap children underwater. These ABCDs can keep safety first and foremost in parents’ minds this summer, and protect kids in the water.
The Law Offices of David I Fuchs is a personal injury law firm in Fort Lauderdale representing clients who have been injured or lost loved ones through someone else’s actions or negligence. Contact David Fuchs for a consultation today.