Warm Weather Reminds MA Residents to Be Safe Around the Water this Summer

As the weather heats up, we’d like to send out a friendly reminder to play it safe this summer, especially around pools.

While swimming pools can be a fun way to cool off during bouts of warm weather, there are serious hazards to being around a pool that put people at risk for injury and even death.

An estimated 10 people die every day from unintentional drowning, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control. Of these drownings, 2 are children aged 14 or younger. Currently in the United States, drowning ranks as fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death.

In a breakdown of the topic, accessed from the CDC, there were an average of 3,533 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) between 2005-2009 annually in the United States. The report also found that an additional 347 people died each year from drowning in boating-related incidents. About 20% of drowning victims are children aged 14 and younger, and for every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries (according to CDC website). In addition, more than 50% of drowning victims treated in emergency departments require hospitalization or transfer for further care, because often, these nonfatal drowning injuries cause severe brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning.

Those at risk include:

• Males: Account for 80% of drowning victims.
• Children: Children between the ages of 1 and 4 are at the greatest risk of drowning. According to the CDC, in 2009, among children 1 to 4 years old who died from an unintentional injury, more than 30% died from drownings. The majority of these drownings occurred in home swimming pools. According to the CDC, drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death behind motor vehicle crashes.
• Minorities: Between 2005 and 2009, the fatal unintentional drowning rate for African Americans was significantly higher than that of whites across all ages.

Aside from those specific demographics, the major factors that put people at risk for downing include:

• Lack of swimming ability • Lack of protective barriers surrounding the pool • Lack of close supervision
• Location of body of water • Failure to wear flotation devices and life jackets • Alcohol use and abuse • Seizure disorders
The CDC recommended that everyone should acquire the proper swimming skills, including taking swimming lessons. In addition, the CDC recommends people to:

• Learn CPR • Wear approved flotation devices and life jackets • Supervise children at all times near water • Use the buddy system-never swim alone.
• Avoid alcohol or drug abuse
• Install the proper protective barriers around your pool
• For a full comprehensive list of recommendations, please refer to the CDC’s website.

If you or a loved one was injured in a swimming or diving accident at someone’s home, apartment, hotel, motel, place of business, or any other residential or business place, it is generally in your best interest to contact a qualified attorney, especially after you have received medical treatment. A lawyer will help you determine whether you are entitled to be compensated for your injuries.

If you think that you might have a premises liability case or if you have any other questions about personal injury law, do not hesitate to call the personal injury attorneys of Altman & Altman LLP to schedule a free initial case evaluation. Altman & Altman LLP is a Cambridge-based boutique firm. Our personal injury lawyers are among the best in Massachusetts. Our team of professionals is both compassionate and aggressive. With more than four decades of experience, our history of success is rich. At Altman & Altman, we do not rest until our clients get the best results possible. Call the attorneys of Altman & Altman LLP at (617) 492 3000 or (800) 481 6199 toll-free, or contact us online for a free consultation. We are available twenty-four hours per day, seven days a week to answer any questions you may have.

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