Boating Safety Tips: What You Need To Know

The warmer months are here and that means enjoying the sun and summer activities. Boating is incredibly popular with things to do like tubbing, water skiing, fishing, or swimming out in the lake. These are all fun things to de-stress and enjoy this sunny season, but nevertheless, it is crucial to be aware of boat safety rules and regulations. According to the Canadian Red Cross there are over 125+ preventable boating-related fatalities that happen across Canada each year.

If you are your loved ones are planning on enjoying some time on a boat this summer, then here are some ways to prepare for the ride and minimize the risk of injury:


Make a Checklist

It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of getting out on a boat— having a thorough checklist to go over before taking off is a great way to be prepared for any possible emergencies out on the water.

Check the Weather

Take a look at the local weather forecast. The days leading up to your departure is crucial to ensuring you are aware of any possibly changes that could put you in danger. Avoid strong or rough winds, darkening clouds, temperature fluxes, or changes to the waves. Getting caught in a storm can result in serious injury to you or your passengers. If you find yourself in this position our lawyers at Dye & Russell know what to do to get you the compensation you deserve. Do not delay, contact us today if you have sustained injuries or damages on a boat in Ontario.

Develop a Float Plan

Inform a family member or marina staff of your contact information and emergency plan of action. Letting someone know this information along with trip destinations, the warning or help signals to be used, and your boats registration information can be critical in getting you to safety if an emergency occurs. Even the most experienced boaters can sustain injuries or be involved in accidents out on the water. Dye & Russell has the experience to help in your boating accident personal injury case.

Have your tools ready

There are many items that you need to have onboard to ensure everyone is safe while out on the water. Some items and equipment you will need but are not limited to:

  • Life jackets
  • First aid kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Food and water
  • Proper identification, licenses, boat documentation
  • Cellphone and wireless charging bank
  • Electrical tape
  • Emergency flashlight
  • Distress signals
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Extra fuel
  • Emergency paddles
  • Blankets

Wear A Life Jacket

Did you know the Red Cross reported that less than 50% of Canadians always wear their life jackets when boating? Life jackets are crucial in the prevention of accidental drownings and even help in preventing hypothermia when exposed to cold water conditions for too long.

Besides being a legal requirement, another reason to have life jackets on board is for individuals that may not know how to swim or are generally weak swimmers. In the event of an accident where flooding occurs and your boat begins taking on water, the risk of a slip and fall injury increases. Wearing a life jacket can save a life if someone were to slip and fall into the water or experience a head injury.

Exploring the many great lakes and waters that Canada has to offer is exciting but knowing proper boat safety is key in achieving an accident-free summer. There are many opportunities for injury with all of the different types of activities to enjoy in or on the water, knowing who to contact in the wake of an accident will reduce the stress and anxiety related to your injury.

 

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, contact the professionals at Dye & Russell today for your FREE Claim Assessment and more helpful resources. Reach us toll free at 1-877-883-6171 or visit us online to speak with a live agent. Your road to recovery is important to us.

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Skye OliverBoating Safety Tips: What You Need To Know
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Water Safety Tips for Toddlers & Children

Teaching your kids to swim & understanding how to be safe around pools or open water is a responsibility every parent takes on. Knowing your toddler or child(ren) can swim can be comforting for parents, but it shouldn’t be your only strategy for keeping them safe.

You teach them to stop & look both ways before crossing the street, not to run out on to the road, to look for cars & where to safely cross the street, yet you wouldn’t leave your toddler or young child unattended playing by the road.

The same goes for pools, open water & even bathtubs. Drownings can occur in as little as 1.5 inches (4 cm) of water.

 

Supervision

A parent or guardian should always be present when toddlers & or young children are near water. They should always know where their child(ren) are & what potential hazards are nearby.

Creating barriers between the child(ren) & the water reduces the ability & likelihood that the child can reach the hazard. Fencing around a pool is a common method used to keep the area inaccessible. Self-latching or locking gates that are also self-closing add additional safety measures. Any gates or barriers should be regularly inspected to ensure they’re functioning properly.

 

Pool Rules

Having established pool rules can help instill the need for safety around the water.

The most common & well-known pool rule of them all is no running around the pool. A slip & fall is more likely to occur on wet surfaces & can result in serious injury.

Cleaning up the pool deck so it’s free from water toys or other pool accessories can minimize a child’s temptation to play in that area. It can also reduce the potential for someone to trip over the objects & fall into the water headfirst.

No adult, no entry. Teach them that entering the pool, lake, pond etc. can only be done once a parent has done so. This will enforce to toddlers & younger children that they shouldn’t be going in the water by themselves & that an adult needs to be with them to be in the water.

Follow through. If you say you’re going to go swimming, make sure you keep that promise. By following through with this promise, the child(ren) won’t feel as strong of a need to go near the water when you aren’t around.

 

Open Water VS Swimming Pool

Swimming at the cottage or in another open body of water is not the same as swimming in a pool at home or recreation centre. A swimming pool is a contained space where the elements can be controlled. Open water brings new hazards that swimmers are faced with. Strong currents, colder water temperatures, greater distances to land or shore, undertows, & even other watercrafts to name a few.

If you or a child has become caught in a river current or fast moving water, the Canadian Red Cross suggests rolling on your back & pointing your feet downstream. This is to avoid hitting any obstacles headfirst. When out of the strongest part of the current, swim straight towards the shore.

 

Lifejackets & Personal Flotation Devices (PFD)

Drowning accidents can be preventable. When worn properly, a Canadian approved standard lifejacket is designed to turn an unconscious person from their front, over to their back so their face up in the water, allowing them to breathe.

When buying a lifejacket for a child there are certain things you want to look for:

  • Canadian approval label containing the chest size or weight it is intended for
  • Large collars will help support a child’s head & give additional protection
  • A strap on the collar to grab on to
  • A secure strap that fastens between the child’s legs, so the device doesn’t slip off
  • Bright colours are more noticeable in the water; red, yellow & orange are preferred options

Having a lifejacket or PFD close by, even within reach, isn’t close enough. The need for adult supervision is always required around water & lifejackets or PFDs aren’t a replacement.

 

If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident your road to recovery is important to us. Fast dial #1000 free from your cell and our experienced team at Dye and Russell will get you the support you need.

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Skye OliverWater Safety Tips for Toddlers & Children
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A parent’s guide to pool safety

With summer making its arrival in Canada, pool season has begun. Pool safety is an important topic this time of year. According to the Lifesaving Society, hundreds of Canadians die each year from drowning. Parents, take note – for children under 10, drowning is the second leading cause of preventable death and children under five are the most at risk of drowning.

So, before you, or your children, dip your toes into the backyard pool, it’s important to review some pool safety tips.

1. Appoint a supervisor

Children of all ages require active supervision when in the pool. This means a parent/guardian who is placing their whole attention on the water. Accidents can happen quickly, and a rapid response time is critical. Don’t be fooled by Hollywood films – drowning is quiet and splashing or screaming doesn’t occur. The attention of a parent/guardian can be the difference between life and death.

2. No diving in shallow pools

Most backyard pools are not deep enough for diving, no matter the age of the diver. This is a frequent cause of injury. It’s important to do your own research into what your pool’s size allows. Establish clear rules with your children about diving in the pool, especially in the shallower end. Some parents choose to put up signage, which is available from many hardware stores, as a reminder. Most importantly, talk with your kids and make sure they understand your family’s pool safety rules.

3. Ensure proper fencing

Small children’s curiosity can lead to drowning by falling into pools. Multiple items are available for purchase which can prevent unsupervised access to water by young children. Examples include latching gates and four-sided fencing. It’s important to comply with any local fencing bylaws in your area so make sure to research these before you open your pool for the summer.

4. Arms’ reach matters

For children under 5, it’s important to keep them within arms’ reach when in the water. While supervision may be sufficient for older kids, younger children require the physical support and balance of a parent. This is a great opportunity to teach your kids the basics of swimming and create lasting memories.

If you have been injured, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

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How to Practice Boat Safety this Summer

Once the summer months arrive, people are quick to pack up their belongings, hop into their vehicles, and head towards the water. Cottage culture is one of the cornerstones of the classic Canadian summer. However, there are risks involved with many cottage related activities that those participating must be aware of.

According to the Red Cross, every year 525 Canadians die in unintentional water-related fatalities. In addition to this startling truth, 166 of those deaths are caused by boating-related incidents.

If you plan on going out on the water in a boat this summer, there are many ways that you can decrease your risk of injury or drowning:

Wear a Lifejacket

They aren’t called life jackets for nothing. In fact, wearing a lifejacket could potentially prevent up to 90 percent of boating related drowning incidents. However, less than 50 percent of Canadians who go boating always wear their lifejackets, despite 82 percent believing it’s a legal requirement.

Despite their cumbersome design, lifejackets are a vital safety device that you must wear on board. When water is present, slip and fall accidents are all too common, so boats are a high-risk area for this. Although they primarily work to keep boaters afloat, they can additionally delay the onset of hypothermia in cold waters. Plus, newly designed models reject the traditional bulky stereotype and fit the body’s form much better.

Be Prepared

Before heading out to sea, inspect your boat to ensure it’s ready to make the trip. Operating an unsafe boat that is not seaworthy is against the law, so be sure to keep up with any boat maintenance that needs to be addressed.

Additionally, if you are taking any inexperienced boaters out for a ride, explain the precautions they must take while on board to avoid injury, and instruct them on how to use the safety equipment. Furthermore, make sure that at least one passenger is aware of how to operate your boat, should anything happen to you.

Check the Weather 

Weather dictates so much of what people are able to do in a day. When it comes to boating, however, the weathers control over personal safety is even higher. If you’re planning on taking a boat out, check the latest forecast. During Ontario summers, thunderstorms can appear seemingly out of nowhere, so keep your eyes peeled and monitor the sky for any changing weather conditions.

Play Safely

The adrenaline that kicks in when you participate in recreational water activities can be exhilarating. There are dangers, however, if you don’t play safely. If you plan to go waterskiing, tubing, or kneeboarding, it’s crucial that you take safety precautions to limit the risk of injury. These measures should entail having a spotter on board who can oversee that those in tow are safe, leaving a seat empty in case the person in tow needs to come onboard, and not towing during hours of limited visibility.

The summer months bring endless opportunities to take advantage of Ontario’s many lakes. Boating and watersports are both invigorating activities that when done safely, can provide hours of fun.

If you have been injured, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

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