This Fourth of July weekend, millions of Americans will flock to pools – including residential pools, community pools, and hotel or resort pools – to beat the heat and participate in a fun summer activity. Although swimming a favorite summer pastime, it is not without its risks. In fact, every day, ten people die from drowning and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than one-fifth of fatal drowning victims are children 14 years of age or younger.
Of course, swimming pools aren’t the only places where drowning can occur. In fact, a study out of Canada last year found that people in rural areas are nearly three times more likely to drown than those who live in cities. According to the study’s researchers, the increased risk may be because rural residents are more likely to be around open water and less likely to have taken swimming lessons.
Swimming Pool and Water Safety Tips
- Learn to swim. According to the CDC, research shows that formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning among children aged 1 to 4 years.
- Supervise children whenever they are in or around water, including bathtubs, swimming pools, or the beach.
- Always swim with another person and, when possible, choose swimming locations that have lifeguards present.
- Learn CPR and other first aid skills.
- Use life jackets certified by the U.S. Coast Guard. The CDC reports that most boating deaths (72%) that occurred during 2010 were caused by drowning, with 88% of victims not wearing life jackets. Do not rely on toys – such as inner-tubes, water wings, noodles, and other foam or air-filled toys – as safety devices.
- Install four-sided fencing that is at least 4 feet high and use self-closing and self-latching gates. According to the CDC, a four-sided fence reduces a child’s risk of drowning 83% compared to three-sided property-line fencing.
- Avoid alcohol when swimming, boating, or around water. According to the CDC, alcohol use is involved in up to 70% of water-related deaths and about one in five reported boating deaths among adolescents and adults.
- If swimming in open water, be aware of rip tides, rip currents, and other dangerous water conditions.
Contact a Drowning Accident Lawyer
The Chicago personal injury lawyers at Cogan & Power, P.C. are dedicated to promoting swimming safety in an effort to prevent drowning and other water-related injuries. If you have lost a child or loved one due to a drowning accident, we understand that no amount of money can compensate you for your pain, but we strive to achieve justice by holding negligent parties responsible for the drowning accident.
Contact the Chicago wrongful death lawyers at Cogan & Power at (312) 477-2500 to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible wrongful death claim.