As Spring rolls into Summer, it’s time to reach for your bathing suit, sunscreen, and flip flops and head for the water to cool-off. Swimming is a great activity that can be enjoyed by all ages. Backyard swimming pools, pubic pools, and our public beaches are great places for family fun. However, they can be deadly and present real dangers. Tragically, over 200 children drown in swimming pools and lakes each year. Many of these accidents could have been prevented.
As a premise liability attorney, every day I am personally involved in fighting for those who are injured as a result of the recklessness and negligence of others. Injuries sustained poolside and at the beach can be severe and life-changing.
Stay Close. Be Alert. Watch.
As parents, we can’t oversee our children’s every activity. But we can be proactive in teaching and establishing some ‘rules’ for safe behavior when near the water. Rules such as ‘no diving’, ‘stay away from drain covers’, ‘swim with a buddy’, no ‘breath-holding’ contests, and, ‘walk’ please.
There are also a few ‘common sense’ safety steps:
- Never leave a small child unattended in or near water.
- Teach children to swim.
- Always check that backyard and public pools have safety compliant drain covers.
- Know how to perform CPR on children and adults.
These simple safety steps reduce the likelihood that a great day turns into a tragic one. Yes, these simple steps can save a life.
Drains in backyard and public swimming pools are often ignored as threats. Suction from drains, even in wading pools, can catch a child’s hair or a portion of a swimming suit or t-shirt – restraining the child under the water. Drain suction in larger pools can catch a child’s arm or leg – trapping them.
If you see a broken or loose drain cover, immediately notify a lifeguard and the pool manager.
Swimming in Lake Michigan – a very large body of water – takes different skills than swimming in pools. Weather conditions cause waves and underwater currents. Venture into the water only at a lifeguard-protected beach and stay within the designated swimming area. Always have a ‘buddy’ nearby.
Don’t dive headfirst until you’ve checked for depth and obstructions – always protect your neck. Young children and inexperienced swimmers should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets in and around the water.
If you feel stressed or concerned that you may not be able to swim back to shore, draw attention to yourself by waving and calling for help.
Water emergencies happen quickly and silently. Know what to do.
- If a child or youngster is missing, check the water first – seconds count in preventing drowning or disability.
- If someone is waving, they may be in distress – they need help immediately.
- Have a qualified life-guard rescue a person in distress or attempt to reach them with a pole, rope, or float. Do NOT go yourself unless you are a qualified lifeguard.
- Know how to perform CPR on a child and an adult.
- Have a cellphone available for a 9-1-1 call.
We Help Victims.
The Attorneys at Friend, Levinson & Turner Law are knowledgeable and expert in representing those who are victims of the negligence or carelessness of others. Claims for victims of accidents in pools or at the beach are complex and frequently multi-dimensional.
Insurance companies rely on professional adjusters to negotiate and fight accident claims. In order to deal with these professionals, you need a skilled attorney to protect your rights. We know your rights and the applicable laws. We are your advocates. We are experts at negotiating with powerful insurance companies. Fifty years of experience counts.
We make the legal process as stress-free as possible. We focus on recovering compensation for you – while you focus upon your physical and emotional recovery.
If you or a loved one is injured or suffer an accident at a pool or beach, please call my office or email.
At Friend, Levinson and Turner Law, William Turner Is Here For You.