School is out and summer is finally upon Los Angeles! Although usually thought of as the best time of the year for families and children, summertime activities can results in an increase in scrapes, cuts, sprains, tears, and from time to time, more serious injuries.
According to the National Safe Kids Campaign, approximately forty percent of all injury-related emergency room visits and 42 percent of all injury deaths happen between May and August. The best way to play it safe? Injury-proofing your summer.
Here are some tips to make it through the summer as safely as possible:
- Pools and Aquatics. Water activities are notorious for resulting in injuries to children of all ages and sizes. Pool maintenance workers may not be monitoring all steps, pathways, corridors, and locker rooms to prevent injury from running, skipping, or walking too quickly on slick surfaces. Injuries resulting from slips and falls can be serious. Remember that pools and aquatic facilities can be slippery and remind children to use caution while playing.
- Beaches. Although beautiful and a great deal of fun for the family, beaches can be dangerous areas as well. All family members should wear shoes of some sort to avoid damage to tender feet caused by broken glass, rocks, sharp objects, or other potentially dangerous items. Caution should also be exerted when driving to and from the beach – lanes can be busy, filled with traffic, and short tempers.
- Boating, Parasailing, Bungees. Be extra cautious when participating in activities involving sea and air. Almost all boating, parasailing, bungee, and similar leisure activity providers make participants sign broad releases that will release the operators from any and all liability, specifically stating that the individual is participating in the activity “at their own risk.” However, every year, numerous individuals are seriously injured or killed because equipment is poorly maintained or not maintained by the operator. Vet your leisurely activity provider carefully, look for signs showing the provider is licensed, bonded, and insured, if applicable, and that the staff is sufficiently trained on operating the equipment. Equipment and ropes should be clean, well-maintained, and not rickety, rusty, frayed, or corroded.
- Grilling. If you are grilling outdoors, make sure you follow the instructions for using your grill properly, including instructions for the propane tank. Although grilling and propane manufacturers are obligated to avoid manufacturing equipment that is dangerous or deadly, many companies will include poorly-written “instructions” in an instruction booklet that “warns” consumers against using the equipment in a particular manner. If an injury results, these companies can take the position that the victim misused the product, and therefore, is at fault. Always follow the equipment’s instructions when operating anything involving an open flame or gas.
- Parks and Playground Equipment. While it is true that landowners of parks and playground equipment have an obligation to keep the premises safe for guests, it does not always happen. Pieces of broken sidewalk, holes, slippery stairs, poorly maintained facilities, rusty playground equipment, and numerous other risks can result in injury, especially at night or when there is poor lighting. Always exert the most caution when traveling alone or with children through parks and playgrounds. Even a simple trip-and-fall can result in a bad fracture that can take years to heal.
Axis Legal Counsel represents victims of accidents in numerous cases, controversies, and disputes. If you or a family member has been injured, please contact us for a confidential consultation at (213) 403-0130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.