When you’re a child, there is nothing better on a hot day than to jump into the water to cool off. Yet, water carries a lot of danger. According to Lousiana’s Department of Health (DOH), 60% more children between 0 – 14 years of age drowned in the state during 2020 than in 2019.
Drownings or near-drownings can happen to anyone at any time. While knowing how to swim well helps, accidents can still occur. If an Olympic swimmer tripped and was knocked unconscious before landing in the water, even they might drown. It is no surprise that young children are at the highest risk of drowning. They are the ones most attracted to water — and the least prepared. They cannot assess the risk of the situation and do not have the strength or technique to get out of danger.
Thankfully, many Louisiana pools or areas of water have people on duty to look out for and rescue anyone in distress. Yet, some public pools have no lifeguards, inattentive lifeguards or lifeguards that are too inexperienced to be proficient.
What can parents do to keep children safe in the water?
As a parent, you can do a few things to increase the chances your child returns safely each time they go to play in water:
- Get them swimming lessons
- Ensure an adult is always watching them
- Fence off the pool or other tempting areas of water
- Ensure kids wear flotation devices when boating
Despite your precautions, there is always the possibility your child gets into difficulty when playing in the water. If this happens, you need to look at who was responsible. If the pool owner, a landowner or an adult in charge did not take adequate steps to protect your child, you might be able to pursue legal action for fair compensation for their injures and losses.