Water Safety Month May 8, 2018
May is National Water Safety Month, which means it is important for everyone to start thinking about having fun – and staying safe – while they enjoy water-related activities this spring and summer. The American Red Cross (ARC), National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), and other organizations have partnered to ensure that children and adults across the country stay safe – while having a good time – as they partake in water-related recreational activities.
Water-Related Injuries and Deaths: Statistics
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 3,500 people died in unintentional (non-boating related) drownings in the United States between 2005 and 2014 (which equals roughly 10 deaths every day). Yearly, more than 300 others lose their lives in boating-related accidents.
Most shocking is that at least 1 in 5 people who die from drowning are under the age of 14-years-old, which means that children and young teens are particularly vulnerable to non-fatal and fatal accidents involving water. The CDC also determines that other risk groups (including children) are:
- Kids – especially those between the ages of 1 and 4-years-old;
- Males (who account for approximately 80% of drowning victims), and:
- Minorities (particularly African-American children)
Water Safety Tips for Kids and Adults
There are lots of fun recreational water-based activities – and they also become increasingly popular as the sweltering heat starts to move in. Whether someone is at the ocean, in a swimming pool, a hot tub or a water park, taking precautions is critical for avoiding preventable injuries and deaths. Some examples of important water safety tips for adults and children alike from the ARC includes:
- Always swim with a buddy – never alone!
- If on a boat, be sure to wear a life jacket;
- Install protective barriers around hot tubs, pools, etc.;
- (If applicable) Be sure to swim in designated areas where lifeguards are present;
- If children are around the water, be sure to actively supervise them;
- If you are swimming with a child, stay within arms reach distance and avoid becoming distracted;
- Remove toys and other objects from a pool area if they are not in use, and:
- If a swimmer needs help, throw some sort of aid to them and stay present – do not leave them alone!
When it comes to water safety tips, there is a wealth of information available from organizations campaigning for water safety awareness. If you would like to read more general water safety tips, please visit: https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/water-safety/home-pool-safety.html
Too often, young children are injured or killed in water-related incidents because of product defects (e.g. a defective pool gate) or because they were not being properly supervised. It is critical that children not be allowed to play near a body of water without adult supervision. If you have concerns over the safety or efficacy of a product or believe it may have caused an injury, a representative at our firm may be able to help answer your questions.
Water Safety Pledge
One particularly effective way to promote water safety is to start teaching children basic swimming tips and rules starting at a young age. Not only can children and parents take a Safe Swimmer Pledge together, but also they should discuss water-safety rules (like following posted guidelines at the pool or listening to the lifeguard at the beach). By taking precautions like these, the chance of a preventable – and tragic – accident occurring lessens.
As part of National Water Safety Month, the ARC, NRPA and the other organizations involved are also launching a multi-tier safety campaign, which involves educational programs, distributing water-safety materials and even more. To find out more about the resources that are available in your area, please visit the campaign website here: https://www.nationalwatersafetymonth.org/. If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact a representative at our firm directly.
Philadelphia Product Liability Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Represent Individuals in Water-Related Injuries or Death
Sometimes it is hard to tell whether a water related injury or death was the result of negligence or a defective product, but our experienced attorneys at Galfand Berger can help answer your questions and determine who is responsible. With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.