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HKQ Firm News

Water Safety Tips

The recent passing of Olympic Athlete Bode Miller’s toddler daughter is a sad reminder of the hazards of swimming pools and children.  Unfortunately, Miller’s 19-month-old daughter did not survive a fall in a neighbor’s swimming pool and she drowned. Losing their little girl has been devastating to Bode Miller and his wife, Morgan Beck.

Sadly, this is not uncommon. In the United States, drownings are the leading cause of injury deaths for children ages 1 to 14. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3 children die and 15 children are sent to the Emergency Department every day as a result of drowning or near-drowning accidents. Injuries can often include brain damage resulting in long-term disabilities, ranging from memory problems to permanent loss of basic functions.

Naturally, when we are enjoying time at the beach or by the pool, injuries are not on the top of our minds. However, accidents do happen. “It is heartbreaking when we hear news of the loss of a child. We want to make sure you are aware of a few precautions you can take that could help keep you and your family a little more safe,” says Attorney Brian McDonnell, Personal Injury Attorney, HKQ Law.

  1. Never leave your children unsupervised. We all know how quickly little feet can move. In an instant, they can be out of view. Whether you are in your own backyard, at a public pool, a lake or a beach, always make sure there is a responsible adult monitoring the kids.
  2. Enroll children in swimming lessons at a very early age. Risk of drowning is decreased by as much as 88% when young children, ages 1-4 take swimming lessons.
  3. Learn CPR. Check with your local Red Cross for classes. If it has been a while, take a refresher course.
  4. If you have a pool, be sure it is secured with appropriate barriers. Be sure to have a latch installed that is secured high enough that kids can’t reach, as well as a gate that opens away from the pool.
  5. Consider safety alarms. Install an alarm on a gate or consider an underwater alarm.
  6. If a child is missing, always check the pool first. Every second counts.
  7. Children can drown in as little as one inch of water. Always drain portable and baby pools.
  8. Remove toys and floats from pools when they are not in use. Keep them stored out of sight.
  9. Keep a safety kit handy, including scissors to cut hair or clothing that might be caught in a drain or around pool edges. Lifesaving equipment such as rings and reaching poles should be kept near pools.
  10. Know the difference between floatation devices, buoyancy vests and lifesaving jackets. Choose the appropriate equipment for your circumstances. Additional information can be found here:
  11. Know your limits, and especially your kids’ limits. Cold water, currents, and other dangerous conditions can challenge even the most seasoned swimmers.

Above all, stay alert and never leave your children unsupervised. Knowledge is key when it comes to safety in and around water. Educating your kids from a very young age and staying informed can lead to a lifetime of healthy safety habits.

About HKQ Law

HKQ Law is considered one of the top civil litigation and commercial law firms in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Nine attorneys at HKQ Law were recently named to the 2019 Best Lawyers List and has been designated a Tier 1 Best Law Firm for personal injury, medical malpractice litigation labor law and corporate law in Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. The firm’s Personal Injury Team, led by Attorney Joe Quinn, has won some of the largest verdicts and settlements in the region's history on behalf of injured clients. The firm was also recently recognized for one of the top 20 Verdicts in Pennsylvania.

The Personal Injury Team focuses on a wide array of personal injury claims and civil litigation, including medical malpractice, auto and truck accidents, aviation accidents, unsafe vehicles, dangerous or defective products, workplace injuries (worker's compensation), construction site accidents, claim denials by insurance companies, dangerous drugs, defective children's products, nursing home abuse and neglect, and falls due to unsafe conditions (slip and fall).

Attorney Joseph A. Quinn is one of only 100 attorneys in the United States (and one of only three in Pennsylvania) honored with membership in the Inner Circle of Trial Advocates, and one of only 500 attorneys worldwide chosen to be a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He has been a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer every year since the program began and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America every year since the publication was established in 1987. Best Lawyers also named him top personal injury attorney for Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley.

Since the inception of the firm, the Commercial / Corporate Team led by Attorney Allan Kluger has provided comprehensive, integrated legal services to many of Northeastern and Eastern Pennsylvania's largest corporations, businesses, banks, non-profits and institutions, handling matters involving labor and employment, wills, trusts and estate planning, estate administration, elder law, commercial transactions, residential and commercial real estate, zoning, land use and development, telecommunications, mediations and arbitrations, commercial litigation, title insurance, business planning and business succession, corporate/business structuring, employment discrimination law for employers, banking, creditor’s rights, finance, lender liability defense, covenants not to compete, construction law, mergers and acquisitions and other business matters.

Additional information can be found at or by calling (800) 760-1529.



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