Saturday, July 10, 2010

Summer fun in the water: It can lead to injuries or death if not careful.

In the summer months many New Jersey residents flock to the water to enjoy the lakes, bays, oceans and pools across our aqua friendly state. I have been a water rat since I was a small child and myself have enjoyed the water immensely.  However my extensive contact with water activity has made me a witness to many injurious episodes.

The statistical data provides the proof that the water can be a dangerous element if not treated with great responsibility. Between 1990 and 2005, over 800 people died of water-related injuries in New Jersey in the months of May through September. The vast majority of water-related injury deaths are due to drowning, but 13 percent are injuries involving watercraft or diving or jumping into water.  Unlike deaths, most hospitalizations are for watercraft accidents (40%), followed by near-drowning (39%), diving or jumping accidents (18%), and being struck by an object in the water (3%). For more information on these statistics you can visit the New Jersey's Center for Health Statistics.

Water-related accidents strike quickly and therefore when dealing with children constant vigilance is the key to preventing them. No one is impervious to these catastrophes, many us probably remember when the actress Natalie Wood drowned off the coast of California. Most recently in the news, Randall Cunningham’s two-year-old son, Christian, died after he was found floating in the backyard hot tub at the Cunningham’s home.

Now that I have told you about the dangers involved with water-related activities, I think I should provide some tips on a safe approach to water-related activities. According to the New Jersey's Department of Health and Senior Services here are some safety tips:
  • The best prevention against drowning is to learn how to swim. All adults and children over age 3 should enroll in swimming classes.Never swim alone or in unsupervised areas. Teach children to always swim with a buddy.
  • If you own a pool, New Jersey regulations require that you completely enclose it with a fence with self closing and self-latching gates. Also, have a telephone nearby to call 911 if necessary and learn CPR. Store pool chemicals in a locked area out of reach of children.
  • Check water depth before entering. A minimum depth of 5 feet is recommended for diving.
  • Stop swimming if you are tired, cold, far from safety, have had too much sun, or have overexerted yourself.
  • Do not swim if you have consumed alcohol.
  • In open water, know the day’s weather forecast, swim only in designated areas, be cautious even when lifeguards are present, watch for dangerous waves and rip currents, and always use life jackets when boating.
Alcohol use exponentially increase the chance of an accident; alcohol use is involved in up to half of adolescent and adult deaths associated with water recreation and about one in five reported boating fatalities. Alcohol influences balance, coordination, and judgment, and its effects are heightened by sun exposure and heat.

Water-related accidents may raise complex premises liability, boating liability and negligent supervision issues just to name a few. These complex water-related deaths and injuries are best handled by a skilled attorney who has handled these types of cases and has personal injury and wrongful death litigation/trial experience. If you or someone you are close to has suffered a water-related accident, whether the incident took place at another person’s home, on the open water or at a public pool, a Personal Injury Lawyer can help protect and preserve your rights.

A water-related accident may be very confusing, emotional as well as physically devastating for the victim. With the experienced personal injury attorneys from Riviere Cresci & Singer LLC on your side, a victim and his/her family can seek compensation for medical expenses associated with your water-related injury as well as damages for pain and suffering. Call us Today (732) 6-4-NJLAW for a free case evaluation regarding your injury or accident.

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