Water safety tips every parent needs to know
One of the best things about living in the Sunshine State is it stays warm enough throughout the year for you to go swimming pretty much whenever you want.
In general, though, the weather from April to October is the best time of the year to enjoy swimming and other water activities.
With that in mind, residents in Tavares and other communities in central Florida are being reminded about the importance of water safety this summer.
Drowning is a real risk, especially for children
According to the National Safety Council, an average of 10 people die from drowning every day in the U.S.
For young children, the data is even more unsettling: drowning is the leading cause of preventable death among kids ages 1-4.
Recently, the Orange County Sheriff's Office honored an 8-year-old girl with its Citizen of the Year Award for saving a toddler from drowning in a hotel pool.
The girl, who was in Orlando for a cheerleading competition in 2019, was playing in the same pool when she noticed the toddler was face down in the water and not moving.
Acting quickly, the girl flipped the toddler over and pulled her to the edge of the pool where the toddler was administered CPR and revived by nearby adults.
Thankfully, tragedy was avoided on that day — but drowning accidents remain a problem in Florida and throughout the country.
Safety tips for swimming
Each year from January to the Fourth of July, an average of 34 children under age 15 drown in pools or spas.
Data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission also reveals:
- Boys under age 15 are involved in fatal drowning accidents at twice the rate of girls.
- 6,400 pool and spa injuries sustained by children under age 15 are treated by emergency departments each year.
- On average, about three-fourths of drowning accidents involving children under age 15 take place in residential locations.
Keep in mind that the younger the child, the greater the drowning risk. All it takes is for a parent or caregiver to look away from the child for a second for a drowning accident to happen.
While the dangers of unsupervised children playing in or near water have been known for years, parents can easily become distracted — even if it's just for a moment — and take their eyes off their child.
As such, one of the most important things you can do as a parent or caregiver to protect your child from drowning is to keep an eye on them at all times and maintain your focus.
That means you should avoid drinking alcohol, looking at your phone, or reading when you're supervising a child in the water.
Other tips include:
- Securing pools with a fence that's at least 4 feet high and has a self-latching gate.
- Take your child with you if you have to leave the area.
- Keep your eyes on your child even if a lifeguard is present.
- Keep your child from playing around drains and suction fittings.
- Alternate supervising duties every 15 minutes with another adult.
- Sign your child up for age-appropriate swim lessons.
- Keep a first aid kit handy.
- Learn CPR.
- Check the water first if a child is missing.
For everyone else, you can stay safe by:
- Avoiding the water unless you know how to swim.
- Wearing a Coast Guard-approved swimming vest (also referred to as a life jacket, life vest, or PFD).
- Swimming in water that's being supervised by a lifeguard.
- Never swimming alone.
- Learning CPR.
- Swimming in a body of water that matches your skill level (e.g., it takes more strength to swim in a lake or river than a swimming pool).
- Not pushing or jumping on others.
- Not diving in unfamiliar areas.
- Staying sober when you're swimming.
After an accident, a personal injury lawyer can demand justice
If you were seriously injured or a loved one died in a water accident due to negligence, it's critical that you protect your legal rights and explore your legal options.
Whether a family member died in a drowning accident, sustained brain damage in a near-drowning, or suffered a severe injury such as a broken bone or fracture, you shouldn't have to worry about paying for medical bills, lost wages, and other losses that arise out of another person's recklessness.
At the Law Offices of Brent C. Miller, P.A., our dedicated legal team can aggressively advocate for your best interests and fight for the compensation you're entitled to.
Find out what our law firm can do for you and contact us right away for a free consultation. We serve clients throughout central Florida and have offices in Tavares, The Villages, Inverness, and Clermont.