Following the deaths of 2 children in drowning accidents, a Hartford attorney is drawing attention to steps all parents and caretakers can take to keep children safe.
"Kids love to go swimming in the summer, but it doesn't take much for an accident to happen," said Hartford personal injury attorney Joseph Morelli of the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli. "There are many simple steps we can all take to help keep children safe in the water."
Morelli noted that this summer has already seen tragedy in the water in Connecticut. A 2-year-old girl died by drowning in a pool in Bridgeport earlier this month. That same week, a 10-year old boy died after falling in the Branford River and getting swept into a pipe culvert.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children ages 1-4 have the highest drowning rates, and drowning is the second-leading cause of injury-related death among children ages 1-14. And children who survive a near-drowning can suffer permanent brain damage.
Morelli cited recommendations from the American College of Emergency Physicians about keeping children safe from drowning:
- Supervise Young Children-A child can accidentally drown quickly. Young children should be watched closely when they are in or near water.
- Teach Children to Swim-Taking swimming lessons can help young children feel more comfortable in water and reduce the risk of drowning.
- Learn CPR-If a child does need cardiopulmonary resuscitation to be revive, every second counts. And it can take emergency medical personnel minutes to get there.
- Use the "Buddy System"-Children should always swim with a "buddy" who knows how to swim, and only in areas that have lifeguards on duty.
- Use Life Jackets-When in the water or on a boat, young children should have a life jacket on at all times.
Other tips from the American College of Emergency Physicians can be found online.