If you’ve been on Facebook recently you might have read about a new product to help prevent tragic drowning deaths. The iSwimband is a Bluetooth enabled device that lets parents and caregivers know if a swimmer has been underwater too long or if a child that’s not supposed to be in the water has fallen in by accident. While this new piece of technology is a great tool, there are many other ways to protect children and others in the water.
Tip #1 – Stay alert. If you’re supervising children near water, devote 100% of your attention to them and try to stay within an arm’s reach. If you’re swimming (especially in a natural water setting), be aware of changing water conditions that might affect your ability to remain safe.
Tip #2 – Remove risk where possible. Make sure that pools and other water features are fenced with a self-latching gate. Clearing toys from the pool area after use can remove some temptation for a child to return to the pool unattended.
Tip #3 – Learn how to spot a swimmer in trouble. We tend to think of drowning as a splash-filled, obvious event. Often it’s a much more subtle event with few or no calls for help. Slate published an informative article on how to identify the signs of drowning. You can also take a water safety class to help protect you and your family.
Tip #4 – Follow rules and safety guidelines — no diving, no running, no alcohol, etc. These rules aren’t there to ruin your fun. They are there to prevent injury and possible death.
Tip #5 – Make sure all safety gear is properly maintained. Use a Coast Guard approved life vest whenever you’re in a lake or river, even if you know how to swim. Water wings and pool noodles are not the same as a life vest and should not be treated as such.
Remember, drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States according to the CDC. Awareness is critical in the prevention of these tragic events. If you have been affected by the negligence of another party, contact Shefman Law.