Articles Tagged with drowning

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Swimming-and-Drowing-Risks-300x244During the summer months, swimming is a wonderful activity for children.  It can also be a dangerous one. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is listed as the top cause of death for children ages one to four years old.  For older children ranging in age from five to nineteen years old, drowning is listed as the third leading cause of death.

There are several precautions a parent can take to protect their children from drowning. Children near open bodies of water, like lakes or beaches, should wear life vests. However, of the almost one thousand child drownings each year, the majority of these occur in home backyard pools. First, there should always be a supervising adult near swimming children. Many parents and homeowners decide it is best to construct a fence around their pool in order to physically separate young children from the water, and studies show that “four-sided fencing with a locking gate… prevents more than half of swimming pool deaths in children.” The CDC recommends a fence at least four feet high. In the event of a child falling into a pool or other body of water, parents should take care to learn CPR.

One preventative measure which has garnered a bit of attention in the last few years is youth swimming lessons—starting as young as a year old. The reason for this early start is twofold—first, infants can drown in bodies of water much smaller than a swimming pool, like a bathtub or even a bucket of water, and, second, the lessons prepare young children in case they accidentally fall into a swimming pool. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says almost seventy percent of drowning victims under the age of five were not expected to be in the water. For this reason, youth swimming lessons are focused on familiarization with water, being able to breach the surface and tread water or looking for floatation devices. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends swim lessons for children between the years of one and four, and the USA Swimming Foundation reports that lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by almost ninety percent. Parents should make sure that, when enrolling their children in a swimming course, the teachers are properly trained and that there are lifeguards on duty.

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Pool-Safety-240x300With a mobile phone or tablet in our hands most of the day, we now live in a world of almost endless distractions. While technology is wonderful and helpful, it also makes certain activities a bit more dangerous for children.  Whenever a child is in or near water, there is a danger or risk of drowning. Adult supervision is key to the safety of children; however, the presence of an adult in the water area is a bit different than the attention of an adult.  If the adult is physically present in the area of the pool or beach, the physical presence may not mean much if the adult is otherwise engaged in the latest text, tweet, or e-mail on the phone or tablet.  Because of this, it is important to have as top of mind awareness the safety needs of the children.

Nearly 7 out of 10 drownings occur while an adult is present. In a life and death situation, people need to be alert and aware of their surroundings. However, the pool presents a myriad of distractions; if a person is swimming in the pool, they can be surrounded by splashing and other people, which could take their attention away from the child they are supposed to be watching. And, even if the watcher is out of the pool, they could be reading a book or looking at their phone at the precise moment they need to step into action and prevent a drowning. But drownings are almost always preventable; in fact, it is the leading preventable cause of death for children under the age of 5. So what steps must one take in order to prevent a child from drowning?

Among the most important preventions one can take is to have a Designated Watcher whose sole purpose is to keep an eye on the people in the pool. These people are reminded to not look at their phones or other distractions and not leave the pool area unless another person replaces them. While a Watcher is the best preventative measure, there are other choices one can make to improve pool safety. Installing a gate around the pool would keep small children from running into the water and drowning before an adult can intervene. It also helps to have a number of flotation devices, like pool noodles or kickboards, that can be thrown into the pool for a child to grab onto. If these measures are implemented, children will be markedly more safe in the pool this summer.

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By David A. Wolf, Attorney

Child Injury Lawyer Blog
Legal Rights - Drowning Case.001Summer time is filled with lots of fun and activities including visits to swimming pools and field trips.  During the summer, there is nothing more fun for children at times than splashing around and swimming with friends. However, it should always be kept top of mind for day care center providers, child care providers, summer camp counselors, water safety personnel, and lifeguards that swimming pools and aquatic areas can be extremely dangerous for children.  Whenever there is a field trip by a summer camp or day care center to a water park, aquatic area, swimming pool, theme park, or amusement park, it is vital that supervision be in place at ALL TIMES.  That statement should be repeated and emphasized – SUPERVISION SHOULD BE IN PLACE AT ALL TIMES.  It should also be noted that supervision is not the mere presence of a counselor, teacher, or care provider.  It also means being attentive to the location, whereabout, needs, abilities, risks, and dangers of each child.   Mobile phones are great devices; however, they also can be toys that lead to serious personal injuries and drowning incidents for children.  Just one text me, e-mail, or so called funny video can some times spell the difference between life and death for a child who ends up drowning at a swimming or aquatic area while on a visit or a field trip.
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By  David Wolf, Attorney and Samantha Vloedman, Law Clerk

Published by Child Injury Lawyer Blog

Building Blocks LIn Illinois and other States, parents rely upon day care centers to provide a safe, nurturing environment for their children during the busy work day. For most children on most days, a day care center provides proper supervision to keep the children safe and out of danger. Unfortunately, there are days (far too many days) when a child is injured while under the so called watch of a day care center.

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blue and vibrant swimming pool side

Swimming Safety – Importance of Touch Supervision

By  David Wolf, Attorney

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By  David Wolf, Attorney
Kids Number Block As Symbol For Numeracy Or CountingParents rely upon day care to provide for the parent the child during working hours. For most childre in day care, the experience is a positive one filled with education, activities, and socialization.  For some children, however, a day care center is the site of a serious personal injury and even a tragedy in the form of a death.  Most child care providers are well-trained, caring individuals who put in a hard day of work to properly supervise children. At times, a day care center is a location where a child takes his or her last breath. Imagine the shock of a parent who drops off a child in the morning at a day care center only to learn that the child died at the day care center later that day.