It is the responsibility of every property owner to make sure that their customers or guests are reasonably safe during their visits. When that property features a swimming pool, pond, lake, or are on another large body of water, it is also the property owner’s responsibility to make sure that all precautions have been taken to avoid a drowning accident. Failure to do so can result in personal injury and premise liability lawsuits against that property owner. Victims of drowning accidents in Massachusetts, or their families need an experienced Boston Personal Injury Lawyer like the attorneys at Burns & Jain.
Most Common Locations of Drowning Injuries to Children
For many, summertime is the most exciting season of the year. While the kids are out of school, families take vacations, go on picnics, and take part in various forms of sports. Many of these activities include water, such as swimming, canoeing, rafting, boating, fishing, and more. It is very vital that parents keep a close watch on children when they are near any body of water. Other “bodies of water” which are often overlooked are hot tubs and whirlpools. It is even possible to drown in a bathtub.
A child’s natural curiosity often leads them to a catastrophe when near any body of water. Kids who are under one year old are more likely to suffer a drowning accident in a bucket or a tub. Those who are ages 1 to 4 are more likely to suffer a drowning accident in a pool. Kids from 5 to 14 suffer more drowning injuries in natural bodies of water, and those who are over 14 are more likely to have alcohol or drugs contribute to the drowning accident. Over a fourth of all drowning deaths occur in children under the age of 14.
We often hear parents say, “My child was only out of my sight for a moment.” A moment may be too long. At any age, children need parental and professional supervision.
How to Prevent Children from Drowning
Children can drown in all types of natural bodies of water, such as creeks, streams, ponds, rivers, and oceans. Even a small garden pond can be dangerous if children are left unattended nearby. When enjoying the beach, river, or lake, here are some good rules of thumb:
- Adults should never use alcohol while watching over children.
- Teach children to avoid jellyfish and other marine animals that can cause injury.
- When in lakes and rivers, children should always wear swimming shoes to avoid rocks, broken bottles and other hazards that could be lurking on the riverbed or lake’s floor.
- Over four times as many children as suffer fatal drowning injuries suffer what is known as “submersion injuries.” Have your child wear a proper life preserver when near bodies of water, around a swimming pool, on docks, in boats, canoes, or kayaks, or on jet skis.
With regard to submersion injuries, this type of drowning accident may not kill the child. However, it may leave them with memory issues, learning disabilities, and in some cases, permanent brain damage that leaves them in a vegetative state.
How to Avoid Drowning Injuries in Adults
The majority of drowning accidents occur in the summer, and most of those accidents occur on weekends. Ninety percent (90%) of drowning accidents happen in fresh water, with fifty percent (50%) of those occurring in swimming pools. All too often, the adults who suffer from drowning injuries do so while intoxicated. It is best to avoid any alcohol use if swimming, boating, or if participating in other water sports is on the agenda. When in rivers, beware of the undertow, and in the ocean, avoid rip currents. Adults need supervision when they swim as well. Never swim alone or when it is dark.
While swimming is a fun family pastime, it is vital that precautions are taken to ensure your family’s safety. If you or someone you love has suffered a drowning injury despite the fact that you took the needed precautions, Burns & Jain may be able to help you receive compensation for your injuries. We have a remarkable track record of success in helping our clients get full and fair monetary compensation from the premises owners and their insurance companies for their injuries. Please call us today for your always free consultation to see if we may be able to help you too.
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