Labor Day Weekend is considered to be the final hurrah of the summer season. You can expect thousands of people to be out on the water, enjoying the long weekend and the last taste of summer before fall begins. Whether you plan to take the family out boating, go for a dip at the local pool, or hang out by the lake or the sound, safety should always be the top concern to ensure a great weekend on the lake or by the pool doesn’t turn tragic.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were more than 3,500 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States from 2005-2014. Additionally, more than 300 people died each year from drowning in boating-related incidents. In the state of Washington alone, there were more than 100 recreational boating accidents and 29 reported fatalities in 2015.
Many of these incidents were preventable and these figures shouldn’t keep you and your family from enjoying the holiday on the water. It should serve as a stark reminder to be cautious of your surroundings to prevent a water-related recreational injury from occurring. Here are my top safety tips to help keep you and your family safe through the rest of this summer and beyond:
Don’t allow your child to swim in murky or cloudy water as it can prevent lifeguards or other swimmers from seeing your child underwater. For at-home pools, be sure to maintain proper chemical levels, circulation and filtration. Murky pools where you can’t see the drain grate at the bottom of the deep end are not safe for swimming.
If a pool or water park attraction is too crowded, find another pool or attraction to cool off with instead. A crowded pool further divides a lifeguard’s attention, which equals less safety for all.
Small children, non-swimmers, and weak swimmers should wear a life vest at all times while swimming and boating.
Consider signing up for swimming lessons to learn the basics or strengthen your swimming abilities. Learning how to swim is a valuable survival skill and can be an enjoyable activity for the whole family.
As for boat safety, always give plenty of space between other boats. Know the body of water you are headed out on and check the weather forecast first. Always make sure to check the your boat is equipped with life jackets for every person and at least one throwable PFD. Make sure it has a working horn and a current fire extinguisher. Its always good idea to have a charged and working cell phone and if you are on the sound, a VHF radio.
Finally, take a boater safety course. Washington State now requires all boat operators to have completed a boater education course.
My team and I at Evergreen Personal Injury Counsel are distinguished in the area of personal injury , particularly with water-related recreational and boating injuries. With more than 90 years of combined legal experience, we’ve had our share of water-related injuries and drowning cases. Our previous cases include a near-drowning case that occurred in a health club pool, a drowning case that occurred at a popular lodge, and a diving injury case against a pool manufacturer.
Your water-related recreational injury case can involve a number of legal practice areas, such as premise liability, product liability with respect to the pool or boating equipment manufacturer, and lifeguard negligence. We will investigate each and every possible factor in case to determine liability and fight for your rightful compensation. If you have suffered a water-related injury or you know someone who has, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
This blog post was originally published on James McCormick’s website.