clock July 19, 2011 comments No Comments flowchart Our Blog tag

Don’t let that enticing beautiful water fool you, swimming pools and beaches could be harmful to your family so it’s important to take Water Safety seriously. Loiselle Insurance is here to provide you with helpful information to keep your family happy and safe around the water this summer.

It’s summertime in New England and steamy weather is predicted for Rhode Island later this week. That means families everywhere are flocking to beaches or keeping cool in their family swimming pools. Keeping cool is one thing but its important to make sure your family is safe at the same time.

Drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14 years, according to the American Red Cross. Its survey of more than 1000 adults showed that more than 90% of families with young children plan to be in the water this summer, and almost half (48%) plan to swim in a place with no lifeguard. That means parents and caretakers need to be well-informed and extra alert!

The American Red Cross recommends the following Water Safety Tips:

  • Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system!
  • Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate Red Cross water orientation and Learn-to-Swim courses.
  • Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
  • Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
  • Establish rules for your family and enforce them without fail. For example, set limits based on each person’s ability, do not let anyone play around drains and suction fittings, and do not allow swimmers to hyperventilate before swimming under water or have breath-holding contests.
  • Even if you do not plan on swimming, be cautious around natural bodies of water including ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into these bodies of water dangerous.
  • If you go boating, wear a life jacket! Most boating fatalities occur from drowning.
  • Avoid alcohol use. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination; affects swimming and diving skills; and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.

In addition to drowning, other health and safety concerns arise with swimming this summer. Be aware of the risk of sunburn and long-term sun exposure. Stay tuned to your local news channel to be aware of potential water borne illnesses in your area or excessive heat that poses an air quality alert!

If you own a swimming pool, you should be extra vigilant. As a homeowner you assume all risk associated with the pool and can find yourself in a lawsuit if anyone is injured. Any homeowner who has a pool (whether in-ground, above ground, or inflatable), should have homeowners liability insurance coverage, including umbrella liability coverage. In addition to having insurance, it’s important to safeguard your pool against unauthorized access. Make sure the swimming pool and your yard is fully fenced with a locked gate. Make sure swimming pool ladders are raised and locked on all above ground pools. Consider installing a pool alarm that would alert you if someone falls into the water unexpectedly. Have a procedure in place in the event of a water emergency, and have a telephone nearby to call 911 if an emergency arises.

Loiselle Insurance Agency wishes you and your family and happy, healthy, and safe summer. Enjoy the weather. Enjoy the beaches. Relax in your swimming pool, but always remember, “Safety First!”

For more information on swimming safety, Loiselle Insurance recommends the following links:

Trusted Choice – Swimming Pool Safety

American Red Cross – Summer Safety

US Government – Beach Safety Tips

Rhode Island Department of Health – Beach Monitoring

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) – Staying Safe in Residential Pools

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) – Staying Safe in Community Pools

Center for Disease Control (CDS) – Healthy Swimming

Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning – Know the Signs