One community message is shared year after year around this time: the need to be careful while swimming. While most outdoor pools, lake, and rivers are still a bit too chilly in May for Illinois residents to use is mass, that will soon change. And considering the warm weather that is already upon us, many community members are already looking to beat the heat and get the summer started in full swing.
Obviously, use of various aquatic spaces is a staple of the warm months. For those in Chicago, Lake Michigan, with its myriad of beaches, is always there for a fun weekend treat or weekday break. Throughout the state there are lakes, rivers, ponds, community pools, apartment pools, water parks, and other spaces for all residents to enjoy a refreshing dip.
But every year there are too many families who end up suffering immensely as a result of swimming accidents. In most cases those hurt are our most vulnerable: young children.
The Illinois swimming accident attorneys at our firm have worked with families over the years who children have suffered injury due to drowning–usually a brain injury. The law comes into play when certain steps are not followed by owners and operators of aquatic spaces. By seeking liability families are able to secure resources to help in recovery as well as ensure accountability so that changes are made to prevent accidents in the future.
Yet, the ideal situation is for no one to be hurt at all. While important, the law is only able to provide retroactive (and partial) redress. That is why we encourage everyone to practice safe preventative measure to keep water fun and free of accidents.
That is also why many individual communities and advocates are raising awareness of swimming safety. For example, a WREX story earlier this month explained how May is officially designated as Childhood Drowning Prevention Month in Illinois. The awareness designation is being pushed by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. It is little wonder that this department is hoping to share this message, as drowning remains the leading cause of death for all kids between the ages of 1 and 4.
The most basic safety tips are straightforward. They are not difficult to understand, but sometimes they are forgotten with deadly results. That includes simple steps like ensuring you keep an eye on a youngster whenever they are near the water. It also means ensuring pool water is clear and attractions do make it impossible for others to see to the bottom of the pool.
Last year in Illinois, at least 21 children died from drowning. According to the story, that includes ten deaths in pools, six in lakes, two each in rivers and ponds, and one even in a bathtub. We can do better than that this year. Hopefully all those in a position to save lives–including those who manage these swimming spaces–do everything in their power to minimize risks and ensure children are not lost due to preventable errors or negligence.
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