If you live in the Chicago land area, you are finally experiencing the warmth of the sun; a lovely sensation that most of us forgot after this cold, long winter. Now that the suns out, it's time to enjoy the warm weather with your favorite summer activities such as playing football, barbecuing, and of course swimming.
As much as swimming is a fun, healthy activity, people are prone (especially children) to injury and sometimes death. The Consumer Product Safety Commission states found that more than 200,000 swimming-related injuries need medical care each year. Knowing how to prevent such accidents from occurring may save you and your loved ones from a lot of hurt and tragedy. Below are some helpful tips to swimming safely.
Never swim alone
No matter how many preventative steps you take, or how skilled of a swimmer you are; it's never a good idea to swim alone. There are many ways an unexpected injury could occur. You could accidentally hit your head, slip and fall into the pool, or suffer from a hazardous laceration (depending on the conditions of where you're swimming). Having another experienced swimmer with you will be beneficial if any of these emergencies occur. If you're immobile for any reason, they can call for help, or aid you if the injury is minor.
Children MUST be supervised
Even if a child has taken swimming lessons, they should never be left unattended. If you are capable of injuring yourself, a child is more so. Likewise, it's crucial to teach a child that pretending to drown is not acceptable. If a child uses this tactic to get attention, telling when a child is really in harm can be difficult, and their real cries of help may be disregarded until it's too late.
Understand where you're swimming
Especially when it comes to lakes or natural bodies of water, knowing the area is essential. Diving into a muddled body of water can lead to serious injury. The water might be surprisingly shallow, or have sharp rocks or harmful debris that can cut you. Swimming at night (especially when your unfamiliar with the location) is especially a bad idea. Even when you're swimming with another, you can easily lose sight of each other.
Don't drink and dive
This should be an obvious tip, but it doesn't make it any less important. Drinking inhibits your reaction time, and judgment. Injury is more likely to occur, and you may find it difficult to respond accordingly, and with haste.
Don't swim in a storm
If the weather is looking poor, it's probably a good idea to wait to swim until it passes. Lightning can travel through water up for a mile.
Know your limits
Above anything else, you should understand your limits. Don't push yourself into swimming in a strong current, especially when you're not properly trained. An afternoon of swimming can quickly turn from carefree fun to a trip to the hospital if the risk is underestimated.
If you or a loved one have been injured due to a swimming accident due to another's negligence, please call one of our Chicago Personal Injury attorneys at Nemeroff Law Offices at 312.629.8800 for a free consultation.