Summer is here. Perhaps the most popular summer activity in the Carolinas is swimming. Jumping into the water is the perfect way to escape the sweltering summer temperatures. But before you dive into the pool or take a dip in the ocean, it’s important to remember that water play has dangers, too.
Around 1 in 10 people die from drowning every day, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). Drowning is also the leading cause of death in children under four, and the numbers always spike in the summer. Other causes of water-related injury come from slip and falls, boating accidents, chlorine burns, pool accidents, and sunburn and sun poisoning. It’s important to be aware of these hazards and take active steps to prevent them.
Staying Safe in the Water
- Know your limits: Make sure that everyone in the family knows how to swim. According to the American Red Cross, swimmers should know how to enter the water, get a breath, float, change position, and be able to swim a distance to get out of the water safely.
- Use water flotation devices: Coast Guard-approved life jackets, puddle jumpers, and other flotation devices should be worn whenever you are boating, canoeing or kayaking. Children should also be wearing approved gear while swimming and especially in oceans and rivers where currents are strong. Keep in mind that plastic pool “floaties” around kids’ arms are not the same thing as approved water safety devices. Make sure they fit according to the individual’s size and weight requirements.
- Swim and boat sober: Watch what you drink while you’re on the water. The sun and heat can cause dehydration and intensify the effects of alcohol. Intoxication can lead to swimming accidents, but it could also cause a deadly boat crash if you’re driving drunk.
- Walk: Whether you’re at the pool or the water park, it’s important to walk on wet surfaces. A slip and fall on wet pavement can lead to head injuries, broken bones, and other injuries.
- Check that pool drains are VGB-compliant: The suction of a pool drain is powerful. Swimming has turned tragic for families whose children were trapped by noncompliant or unsecured drain covers. Drain covers in public pools should have been swapped for compliant ones in 2008. However, this is something that may have been overlooked in residential pools.
- Wear sunscreen: We’ve all had at least a mild sunburn in our lifetimes. But long-term sun exposure is associated with over 80 percent of skin cancers. Excessive time in the sun can also cause sun poisoning, which can result in fever, vomiting, and purpling of the skin.
- Watch out for chlorine burns: Chlorine is a disinfectant used in many swimming pools. While it’s mostly used safely with no harm done, there are reports of people suffering from respiratory and other difficulties related to chlorine burns every year.
Hurt? Call a Personal Injury Lawyer Today
At Stewart Law Offices, we wish you a happy and health summer. However, if you harmed in an accident that was someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. To learn more, contact a personal injury lawyer at one of our offices today. With locations throughout South Carolina and an office in Charlotte, North Carolina, our lawyers can meet with you wherever is most convenient.
Call or contact us today to get started.