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Jet Ski Safety Infographic

  Use the Code Below to Embed Infographic <a href="http://wateraccidentinjury.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://wateraccidentinjury.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/jet-ski-safety-infographic.jpg" alt="Jet Ski Safety: Driving on High-Traffic Waterways" style="width:100%;"...

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Water Park Lawsuit Considerations

Water Park Lawsuit Considerations

Water park visitors that have sustained injuries or illnesses may wish to recover compensation for medical costs and other related costs from the water park owners. However, there are some important considerations when pursuing a lawsuit against a water park. Failure to consider these factors may result in an unsuccessful lawsuit. Water Park Legal Duty A water park, like any other public attraction, has a legal duty to keep the park reasonably free from hazards. This includes maintaining rides and walkways, ensuring proper chemical balances in water, and keeping water free from parasites and bacteria. This also includes implementing controls to manage crowds and parking areas. Failure to maintain any aspect of the park grounds or rides that may cause injury or illness to a park guest can be considered ground for a premises liability lawsuit. Water parks also have a duty to warn park visitors of existing dangers. Assumed Risk Defense When a water park visitor is injured, one of the most common defenses that water parks use is the claim that the park visitor assumed certain risks upon entering the park and participating in park attractions. If a park visitor sustained injuries as a result of the normal operation of rides or attractions, this defense may stand. However, if a park visitor sustained injuries as a result of park management negligence or a ride that was improperly maintained or malfunctioning, the court may decide that the risks were beyond that which would normally be assumed. In the case of a malfunctioning ride, the ride manufacturers may be liable if it can be proven that the ride was properly maintained yet malfunctioning due to an inherent flaw. Park Visitor Negligence Water park lawsuits place the injured visitor under pressure to prove that the injury was caused by the actions of the water park owners or management. Any actions by the victim that may have contributed to the injury may affect the success of the lawsuit. If the water park can prove that the victim broke any posted rules, it may be considered contributory or comparative negligence. Contributory or comparative negligence may exclude the water park from liability or decrease the amount that the water park is liable for. Water Park Injury Attorney Having an experienced water park injury attorney provide advice and assistance can mean the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful lawsuit. An experienced attorney will help victims understand whether injuries are the fault of the water park owner, management staff, employees, or ride manufacturers. While most water park injuries result in premises liability lawsuits, an experienced attorney can help make this determination. An attorney can also help compile evidence and testimony to support the victim’s allegations.     Sources: Levenson, Mark. Amusement Ride – Related Injuries and Deaths in the United States : 2005 Update. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 7 Sept. 2005. Web. 16 Sept. 2014. <http://www.cpsc.gov//PageFiles/108559/amus2005.pdf> “Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention Week 2014.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 19 May 2014. Web. 16 Sept. 2014. <http://www.cdc.gov/features/rwis/> Soyuncu, S, O Yigit, and et al. “Water Park Injuries.”National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Web. 16 Sep 2014. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19779993> “World Waterpark Association.” World Waterpark Association. World Waterpark Association, 26 Feb. 2009. Web. 16 Sept. 2014....

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Model Aquatic Health Code

Model Aquatic Health Code

Drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional death in the United States and thousands are harmed every year as a result of water injuries. In order to prevent drowning, injuries, and infections at public pools and spas, the Model Aquatic Health Code was formulated. The Model Aquatic Health Code, or MAHC, was created through the joint effort of the CDC, public health officials, academic experts, and aquatics industry representatives. Model Aquatic Health Code Use The Model Aquatic Health Code can be used by state and local organizations as a guide for codes, regulations, and standards regarding water safety at public recreational facilities. The use of MAHC is voluntary. The first complete version of the MAHC was released in summer 2014. The MAHC is expected to be continually updated and revised to reflect the latest scientific advances and best practices. MAHC Purpose Code requirements for public water safety vary widely between states and jurisdictions. The MAHC was designed as a standardized guideline that could be used to implement best practices in aquatic facilities across the United States. The expectation is that by making a consistent public health threat reduction effort program available, incidences of disease and injury as a result of recreational water experiences in the U.S. will decrease dramatically. MAHC Content The MAHC is broken down into modules with specific topics. Each module details best practices for aspects of recreational water facility maintenance, design, operation, and regulation to mitigate hazards. Best practices are based on scientific evidence and research. Modules were developed by technical committees with expertise in the specific area and reviewed by the Steering Committee. Public comments have been and will continue to be taken into consideration when revising each module. Best practices areas which are outlined within the MAHC include, but are not limited to: Chemical storage Bather loads Safety equipment specifications Facility design parameters Pool slope guidelines Drainage requirements Lighting guidelines Implementing MAHC The MAHC was developed in response to a void in consistent aquatic regulatory practices. The MAHC is designed to help guide recreational water facilities to a higher standard of health and safety. The CDC stands behind a theme of “evolution, not revolution” in regards to implementing the best practices which are outlined in the MAHC. This approach will allow recreational water facilities to make changes gradually and prepare for upcoming changes as the standardized regulations are adopted by local agencies.     Sources: http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/pools/mahc/ http://www.delozoneaquatics.com/public-health/model-aquatic-health-code.php http://www.nspf.org/en/resources/mahc.aspx...

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Rip Current Safety

Rip Current Safety

The Florida coastline is notorious for strong rip currents. Rip currents are strong currents of water that flow away from shore, and can occur in any water where there are breaking waves. The United States Lifesaving Association estimates that more than 100 Americans are killed per year as a result of incidents involving rip currents. Rip Current Formation Rip currents occur when breaking waves set water moving towards shore. When the water that has been moved to the shore begins to move back out to the sea, it flows at a right angle to the beach. This is called the “neck” of the rip, and is the point where the water moves most rapidly. Strong wind and waves can cause rip currents to form as water is forced sideways when abating back from shore. The location of rip currents is unpredictable. Rip Current Dangers Approximately 80 percent of beach rescues performed by lifeguards are in response to rip current incidents. Swimmers that are most in danger of injury or death from rip currents are those that are uneducated about the phenomenon. Rip currents move fast, between one and eight feet per second on average, and swimmers that are unprepared for the fast moving water may be knocked down. Panic or a lack of swimming skills may prevent swimmers from resurfacing and swimming back to shore. Safely Exiting a Rip Current Swimmers can prevent rip current injuries by staying calm after being pulled away from shore by a rip current. A rip current cannot pull swimmers underneath the water, but it can pull swimmers away from shore. Swimmers should work to stay afloat while keeping calm. If the rip current is strong, it may be necessary for the swimmer to tread water until a weaker point in the rip current can be found. Once it is possible to break away from the current, swimmers should swim parallel to the shore to exit the current. After the swimmer has broken free from the current, the swimmer should move towards shore at an angle away from the rip current. Rip Current Safety Tips The following rip current safety tips may help swimmers to avoid rip current dangers: Never swim alone Swim only at lifeguarded beaches Obey all beach rules, including lifeguard instructions Learn strong swimming skills Observe all warning flags and advisories Exercise caution at all times Call for help if another swimmer is caught in a rip current     Sources: http://www.ceoe.udel.edu/ripcurrents/safety/index.html http://www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov/tips.shtml...

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Personal Flotation Devices 101

Personal Flotation Devices 101

There are a number of precautions to help keep children and families safe during a day of swimming fun. One of the most important safety precautions is using personal flotation devices, also referred to as PFDs. As indicated by the name, personal flotation devices help individual swimmers to stay afloat and avoid the risks of drowning and other swimming safety dangers. Life jackets and life vests are the most common forms. All individuals participating in water activities should wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device. When used correctly, they can literally be a life-or-death consideration. Types of PFDs There are five main categories of personal flotation devices (PFDs) that are U.S. Coast Guard approved: Offshore life jackets are recommended for remote or rough waters where water safety is of the highest concern. These jackets tend to be more bulky, as they have the most buoyancy of the five types. Offshore life jackets are recommended for water activities like boating. Near-shore vests are less bulky than offshore life jackets, and are therefore intended for use in situations near the shore. This is because rescue from dangerous situations near shores are typically quicker than rescue for offshore emergencies, which may take hours. Flotation aids are the most common form of personal flotation devices. They offer a comfortable balance of movement and buoyancy so that wearers are less restricted while still receiving critical protection from drowning. Throwable devices include ring buoys and cushions that are not worn by swimmers. These devices are typically thrown out to individuals who need additional assistance in dangerous situations. However, throwable devices are not recommended for rough waters or non-swimmers. Special-use devices are designed for particular water-related activities. For example, special-use devices exist for those participating in activities such as waterskiing, kayaking, and windsurfing. These also include deck suits and hybrid vests. Inflatable PFDs As indicated by the name, inflatable PFDs feature chambers that can be inflated during an emergency. When uninflated, these personal flotation devices are less bulky than other types of devices that are inherently buoyant. Inflatable PFDs include waist packs and vests, and are primarily considered Type III personal flotation devices. Inflation Process Inflatable PFDs inflate on-demand using a CO2 cartridge system which is activated by a pull cord. This system allows for wearers to receive instant buoyancy when an emergency occurs. Inflatable PFDs also feature a breathing tube that allows for additional inflation when needed.     Sources: http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg5214/pfdselection.asp http://www.pfdma.org/choosing/types.aspx...

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Water Safety Certification

Water Safety Certification

Drowning is the 5th leading cause of unintentional death in the United States. Approximately 10 people die each day in the U.S. from drowning. Water safety certification classes and courses can help individuals to be prepared for common water accidents and prevent drowning injuries. Most jobs that require individuals to be in or near water require employees to receive certain water safety certifications. Types of Water Safety Certification American Red Cross Certifications are the most common types of water safety certifications and may be offered by many different organizations across the country. The certifications that are offered may vary by location, but usually include CPR training and general water safety courses for lifeguards. Certifications that are offered may also include administering emergency oxygen, specialized courses for those that will be teaching water safety, and emergency medical response certification. Water Safety Certification Requirements Requirements for taking a water safety certification class may vary depending on the particular class and the location. To participate in water safety certification courses, there is usually a fee. Classes to become an instructor typically require participants to be at least sixteen years of age and have basic water safety knowledge. Participants may also be required to meet certain health standards if the training or examination requires the participants to perform more rigorous physical activities. To receive certification, all participants are required to demonstrate competency in the skills that were taught throughout the course. Receiving the Certificate Once the final examination has been completed and the individual is certified, a certificate is issued to prove that the individual has met all requirements. This document may now be issued electronically for ease, or individuals may receive a physical copy. American Red Cross water safety certifications are recognized across the country. Reasons for Becoming Certified Jobs such as lifeguarding at public pools or the beach, operating water rides, and caring for marine animals may require all employees to receive water safety certifications. These certifications assure employers that the employees will be able to respond appropriately if a water accident occurs. However, anyone can benefit from receiving water safety certification, especially if there are children in the home. Children between the ages of one and four have the highest drowning rates. Drowning incidents can occur at home or any place that there is water, water safety certifications help people understand how to react quickly and appropriately and can help save lives.     Sources: http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/program-highlights/swimming...

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Beach Safety

Beach Safety

Going to the beach is a favorite pastime of families all across the country, especially those who live in the sunny state of Florida. The beach can be a great place for both children and adults to relax or get some exercise. However, it is imperative that precautions are taken to keep the experience safe and prevent injuries. Prevent Sunburn Injuries Sunburns can be painful and can greatly increase the risks of developing skin cancer and other conditions. To prevent sunburns, wide brim hats and loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and pants or skirts can be worn. An umbrella may also reduce the amount of sun exposure. Sunscreen should be worn, but should not be the only preventative measure taken to protect again sunburn. Going to the beach between the hours of 10am and 4pm can increase the risk of sunburn, as these times are when the sun is the strongest. Prevent Water Injuries All family members should be educated about beach safety prior to beach trips. It is important for family members to stay together, so that someone is there to help or seek assistance if an incident does occur. Children should be supervised at all times and not allowed to swim where parents cannot see. Swimming in areas that are supervised by a life guard provides an extra degree of protection. Rip Currents Rip currents can cause drowning injuries if an individual is not educated about what to do if caught in a rip current. Rip currents are powerful currents that run perpendicular to the shore and can pull unwary swimmers under water. If caught in a rip current, swimmers should swim parallel to the shore in a calm manner. Panicking will cause oxygen loss that can be dangerous. Most rip currents are no more than 30 feet wide, so swimmers will soon move away from the rip current by swimming parallel to the shore. Advisories Beach advisories for the day should be researched and heeded for beach safety. Dangerous wildlife, strong currents, and weather conditions may increase the likelihood of dangerous incidents. Families should prepare accordingly or avoid a beach trip if conditions are too dangerous. Swimming Experience Family members should be strong swimmers before being allowed out into deeper waters. Weak swimmers and young children should wear a life jacket or other floatation device while at the beach. Swim classes can help strengthen swimming skills. Beach Safety Tips There are many precautions that can be taken to make beach trips safer, including: Wearing water shoes to protect against cuts and animal strings or bites Avoiding alcohol to prevent dehydration and maintain awareness Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water Only burning fires in designated pits or grills Bringing first aid kits that can be used in case of cuts or stings Researching tide schedule and taking the beach trip when the water is the least...

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Swimming Pool Toy Safety

Swimming Pool Toy Safety

As summer approaches, more families are making use of public and private swimming areas. Swimming pool toys are a common addition to a day of fun in the water, as they provide children with added entertainment and convenience. While swimming pool toys can be enjoyable for children, it is important for parents and guardians to remember pool toy safety. These toys are not safety devices. Some products, such as inflatable swimming pool toys, can prevent hazards such as flipping and submersing children into the water unexpectedly. For safety reasons, swimming pool toys should never take the place of close adult supervision. Pool Toy Flipping Inflatable swimming pool toys present the possibility of flipping and capsizing while children are using them. These types of swimming pool toys include inner tubes and rafts. Special inner tubes designed for infants feature underside netting designed to support the infant’s rear and legs and prevent slipping through. However, tipping of these swimming pool toys can be life-threatening. When parents or guardians are not at arm’s reach, tipping can lead to drowning. Habitat Pool Floats Commonly called “habitats,” there are specialized pool toys which may feature walls and roofs. As indicated by the name, these toys give the image of a home or habitat in which small children can play without water submersion. However, research on swimming pool toys and their safety has shown that some of these toys may flip or capsize easily. Choking Hazards Small swimming pool toys and water toys may present choking hazards. In 2012, manufacturing company Dunecraft recalled a line of water toys designed to expand when placed in water. The marble-sized toys grew to up to 400 times their original size. The products were recalled after an eight-month-old child swallowed a pre-expanded unit and suffered an intestinal blockage as a result. The toy required surgical removal. Lack of Warning Labels A main issue with swimming pool toy safety is a lack of safety labels on products that pose potential dangers, such as flotation devices. Many experts and organizations urge manufacturing companies to include warning labels and directions for use on product packaging. The American Society for Testing and Materials has issued safety standards for flotation toys, and urges companies to include warning labels. While a number of manufacturers comply with voluntary standards set for these products, many fear that the general public may be uninformed and unprepared for the potential dangers. Toys Are Not Safety Devices It is a common misconception that foam and air-filled pool toys are meant to act as safety devices. Toys such as “floaties,” inner tubes, or “noodles” should not be used in place of life jackets, swim vests, or other personal flotation devices (PFDs) that are approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. Additionally, parents and guardians should continue to constantly supervise swimming children, regardless of whether they are playing with floating swimming pool toys.     Sources: http://articles.latimes.com/1990-07-08/news/mn-332_1_inflatable-water-toys...

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Water Sports Safety

Water Sports Safety

As summer approaches, many individuals and families are preparing for long days of swimming and fun in the sun. Water sports are especially common in Florida, with its numerous lakes and beaches to enjoy activities like surfing, tubing, boating, and water skiing. However, with these adventures come dangerous safety issues. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 4,000 deaths were associated with water sports accidents in 2005. It’s critical for individuals and families to practice water sports safety to avoid any water-related accidents. Know How to Swim One of the most important aspects of water sports safety is knowing how to swim. A lack of swimming ability is one of the main contributors to water sports accidents related to drowning and near-drowning. Furthermore, individuals who are confident in their swimming abilities will naturally be more comfortable while participating in water sports. This confidence helps to increase performance as well as increase overall water sports safety. Those who can’t swim or are uncomfortable with their swimming skills are encouraged to enroll in swimming lessons. Use Life Jackets Even when individuals know how to swim, life jackets should always be worn while participating in water sports. In some cases, there may be certain circumstances that make it difficult for individuals to safely swim back to shore or to their water sports equipment. This can lead to exhaustion or drowning. Life jackets ensure that individuals stay above water at all times, significantly reducing the risk of drowning. Be Prepared Water sports safety also includes elements of preparation, such as the following: Know where you are going, how you will get there, and which paths you will take Check the weather to make sure conditions will stay favorable Research local laws, which may restrict certain activities or equipment Apply sunscreen to prevent sunburn from a long day in the sun Avoid overexposure to the sun, which can cause heat exhaustion and contribute to skin cancer Drink plenty of water before, during, and after activities to prevent dehydration Refrain from alcohol and drug use, as impairment increases accident risk Keep Equipment Maintained Water sports safety depends on adequate and well-maintained equipment. Machines like boats and jet skis should always be checked for any engine or mechanical issues. Prior to departure, fuel supply and battery levels should always be adequate. Equipment such as surf boards and inner tubes should be checked for any weaknesses, cracks, or holes which could cause the item to break when force is applied during...

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Canoeing Tips

Canoeing Tips

As the weather grows warmer, many individuals will return to water activities such as swimming and canoeing. Before planning a canoeing trip, there are a number of safety considerations to keep in mind. These canoeing tips can help to keep individuals and families safe while out in the canoe. In the Canoe When in the canoe, it is important to always “stay low.” Canoes are more stable with a lower center of gravity. When entering and exiting the canoe, individuals should keep the stay-low rule in mind to prevent tipping and instability. Keep the knees bent and maintain a crouching position. Likewise, individuals should stay low during the remainder of the trip. Avoid standing up, especially when a strong wind or other factors may jeopardize balance. Be Aware of Surroundings It is important for individuals to constantly be aware of their surroundings when in the canoe. This is especially important when in an area that is shared with other canoes, kayaks, or boats. Lack of awareness can lead to canoe collisions and other accidents. If the waterway being traveled on has a “traffic system” or certain routes that riders are expected to take, they should be obeyed. Wearing a Life Jacket A study by the Outdoor Industry Foundation reveals that roughly 75 percent of paddle-sport related deaths involved individuals who were not wearing a life jacket. A life jacket can be the key determinant of safety when individuals are faced with hazardous weather or water conditions which can lead to capsizing, collisions and other accidents. Children should always wear life jackets, regardless of potentially hazardous outdoor conditions. Clothing and Equipment When in the canoe, riders should dress comfortably and appropriately for the weather. Rider should always wear shoes. Riverbeds, rocks, and rough terrains can be hazardous to those who are not properly clothed, including shoes. Clothing should be comfortable and facilitating for the movements required of paddling. If the water temperature is below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, a wetsuit is recommended. It is also recommended to bring additional clothing in a waterproof container in the event that the canoe tips or the weather changes. Canoe Safety Individuals should take the following canoe safety precautions: Check the weather forecast before canoeing to ensure safe conditions Avoid jerky or sudden movements in the canoe, which can disturb the canoe’s equilibrium Never sit on the side of the canoe, as this will lead to capsizing Be mindful of the water’s currents to avoid being carried off-path or into dangerous territory Avoid branches and low-hanging trees along the shoreline Bring a first-aid kit in the event of minor injuries such as cuts and scrapes Stay protected from the sun with sunscreen, hats, and long-sleeve clothing Bring plenty of food and water to avoid dehydration and hunger during a long...

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