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The warm weather is here and with it brings water activities – like swimming in the lake, going boating, or lounging by the pool. As advocates of community safety, leading personal injury firm, Diamond and Diamond, encourages everyone to practice proper water safety. The firm’s dynamic leadership team, Jeremy Diamond, Sandra Zisckind and her brother Isaac Ziskind share how to stay safe around the water this summer:
Always wear a Life Jacket / Personal Flotation Device
When you’re out on the water in a boat, it’s important to wear a lifejacket. These devices can save you when you’re participating in ANY activities on or near the water. As Jeremy Diamond says, “wearing a life jacket saves lives.” For helpful information on proper maintenance and sizing of life jackets, visit the Canadian Red Cross website.
Avoid going out on the water while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Just like operating a vehicle under the influence, consuming drugs or alcohol before going near the water can be very dangerous. It’s essential to avoid going out on the water while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Isaac Ziskind of Diamond and Diamond says “being out on the water or at the cottage is an enjoyable time for everyone, but mixing it with drugs or alcohol can be life-threatening.” It’s important to remember that any activity in the water is dangerous when under the influence – not just operating a boat, canoe, kayak, paddleboard or Seadoo.
Be sure to follow best practices for operating a device on the water (boats, kayaks, canoe, paddleboards, tube, etc)
It’s important to make sure that you adhere to the best practices for operating any device on the water whether that be a boat, kayak, canoe, paddleboard, Seadoo, etc. Sandra Zisckind of Diamond and Diamond says “just like operating a car, there are many rules and guidelines in place regarding the safe operation of a device on the water.” For additional information, please refer to the Government of Canada’s Office of Boating Safety website.
Supervise children when they are in the water
Another essential aspect of water safety is ensuring the proper supervision of children while they’re in the water. Parents should always be within an arm’s reach of young children at all times. This includes older children as well – even though they may be more confident swimmers, it’s still important to make sure that you’re supervising them when they’re in the water (lakes and pools alike). Isaac Zisckind of Diamond and Diamond says “it’s essential to make sure that swimmers are supervised whether they’re in a pool, pond, or a lake.”
Always check in on local weather reports regarding the condition of the water and the weather
Another essential aspect of water safety is the condition of the water. On a hot summer day, all water may be tempting to jump into. However, it’s essential to do your homework to make sure that there are no special statements regarding blue-green algae in natural bodies of water. Jeremy Diamond says, “before I go to any natural bodies of water I always check in on local reports to see if there have been any issues reported with the quality of the water.” For helpful tips on how to identify and avoid blue-green algae, please refer to the Government of Ontario’s website. It’s also essential to check in on any special weather statements before you decide to head out on the water. Storms can develop at any time and it’s important to make sure you’re not on or near the water when this happens.
Don’t swim beyond your skill level
Lastly, it’s important to swim at your skill level whether in a pool, a lake or a pond. When it comes to natural bodies of water, there are a lot more unknowns that should be taken into consideration before you venture too far away from shore. The conditions can always change in natural bodies of water and the depth is very difficult to judge. Therefore, swimmers must stick within their skill level before jumping into swimming that they weren’t prepared or ready for. As Sandra Ziskind says, “it’s important to consider the depth of the water, the current weather, and your swimming skill level before you decide to jump in.”
About Jeremy Diamond
Jeremy Diamond is a lawyer and member of both Ontario and Florida Bars. Jeremy practices in the area of Plaintiff personal injury litigation. Click here to learn more about Jeremy Diamond.