New Englanders were forced to exhibit much patience this winter and early spring, but the weather has finally begun to warm in the Boston metro area.  As such, it is imperative to remember to practice routine water safety around all swimming pools, lakes, beaches, ocean activities, and ponds. The inherent risks swimming venues present should been appreciated by all, but especially parents and children.  As a reminder, the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) has designated May as “National Drowning Prevention Month.”

Tragically, drowning is the second-leading cause of death for children ages 1-4. Often, drowning deaths are silent and happen quickly, even when guardians are otherwise vigilant in their supervision. The Alliance hopes the increased awareness will result in fewer tragedies and prevent accidental drowning deaths and serious personal injuries when families are enjoying relaxation and recreation around bodies of water this summer. Local Massachusetts organizations, such as the Christian E. Frechette Foundation, also implore all children and their guardians to practice safe habits and close supervision around bodies of water.

The Boston personal injury lawyers at Bellotti Law Group fully support the NDPA’s mission of reducing drowning accidents and pass along the following water safety tips from the Alliance. If you or a loved one was injured or wrongfully killed due to another person’s negligent practice, call our Boston, Cambridge, or Quincy office today at 617-225-2100.

Tips to Reduce the Risk of Drowning Accidents:

1. ALWAYS closely supervise children: Quite simply, a child near any body of water should never be left unattended. If a child is missing for any period of time, no matter how short, check the body of water first, then alert authorities. It is a good idea to designate a person as the “water watcher” in addition to lifeguards and other supervision. Also, water floatation devices, such as inflatable armbands, should not take the place of a caregiver’s watchful eye and constant awareness.

2. Wear a life jacket or approved floatation device: Children should always wear life jackets or adequate floatation on boats and in water. This greatly lowers their risk of accidental drowning

3. Install proper barriers around swimming pools: A lockable fence that cannot be climbed should be installed around swimming pools to prevent children from wandering into the pool unattended.

4. Provide swimming lessons to all children: Everyone should learn to swim. If children are taught how to swim at a young age, their chances of accidental drowning are greatly reduced. Swimming lessons are fun, practical, and important for all children.

5. Be aware of non-traditional water sources in home:Water left in buckets, coolers, aquariums, filled bathtubs, spas, and toilets are all sources of water deep enough to cause the accidental drowning of young children. Do not leave these hazards unattended around the home.

6. Warn teens about “risky” swimming practices: It is a commonly known fact that teenagers are often aggressive, reckless, and act with an air of invincibility. Unfortunately, behavior such as diving from unsafe places or into unknown water, swimming into deep water, etc. place teens at an increased risk of personal injury and death.

Contact the Boston personal injury attorneys at Bellotti Law Group today if you or a loved one has suffered a water-related accident or wrongful death. Our lawyers work with victims and families to ensure full and fair compensation for their damages. Call us at 617-225-2100.

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