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What Actions Should be Taken to Prevent Drownings and Near Drowning Incidents?

By  David Wolf, Attorney

sports_1000009537-120613intIn the summer and other times of the year, there is always a risk of drowning to toddlers, children, teenagers, and yes adults.  Putting safety measures in place is not just for special events and public pools.  Safety should be a priority any time that a person (of any age) is on, in, or near the water whether it is a swimming pool, water park, wading pool, lake, river, canal, or ocean.   Even a lazy river winding itself around the confines of a luxury resort can be the site of a horrible yet preventable drowning or near drowning incident. Most drowning or near drowning incidents can be prevented with the proper planning and the proper supervision of the swim area.   Let’s talk a bit about supervision.  Here is an equation to consider:
Proximity does not equal proper supervision.
Of course, if an adult is nowhere close to the swimming area, this is not proper supervision either. Let’s go back to that interesting statement:  Proximity does not equal proper supervision.   If an adult in in the swim area but has his head buried in his smartphone – then this is not proper supervision.  A drowning can take place in a matter of seconds.   Here is another statement to consider:  Burying your head in a smartphone makes you stupid when it comes to be an attentive adult in or near a swim area.  While these statements are somewhat interesting and clever, it is the supervision that matters.  Hopefully, this post and the use of common sense will go a long way to making all of us more attentive in and around swimming and water areas.    Here are some other tips to consider:
Designate one or more adults in a  swim area to be an attentive supervisor of the swimmers and those in and around the pool or water area;
 
For small children and weaker swimmers, have these swimmers wear a life jacket.  Yes, this applies to swimming pools and all  other water areas.
 
Buddy systems also work.  Make sure that each swimmer has a buddy in place.  This applies to all swimmers and not just the younger ones.
 
Do not mix drugs or alcohol with your supervising responsibilities.   Having a drink in one hand and a smartphone in the other amount to absolutely terrible supervision.
 
The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Swimming and Water Park Injuries, Theme Park and Attraction Injuries, Playground Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.