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July 29, 2012

School is out for the summer and that means time spent swimming, biking and other activities that can result in an injury. To make the summer most memorable for the happy times and not for the trips to the emergency room here are a couple of simple rules to follow.

As a parent, make sure every child has the proper equipment when skateboarding, surfing, bicycling or participating in any other activity. New Jersey requires helmets to be worn while bicycling for those under the age of 17. These items should also be sent with your child if they are going to a friend’s house for the day or to summer camp.  The old adage of “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is a good one to remember and apply.

A pool party should include adult supervision at all times even if no one is swimming to prevent accidental slips and drowning. The owner of the house or host of the party should check with each guest to determine their swimming abilities and any young or non-swimmers should be provided with and wear a flotation device. Novice swimmers should stay in water that is shallow enough for them to stand with their head and shoulders clearly above the surface of the water.   Jumping and diving should be confined to the areas of the pool where there is sufficient depth. Do not be afraid to limit the horseplay and roughhousing around the pool.

If a person is injured on your property during a game of baseball or while riding bicycles, your homeowner’s insurance will cover you for any negligence you and/or your child committed.  However, it will only cover you up to the limits of your  policy. Now would be a good time to check that the liability limits are adequate, a rule of thumb is to get as much as you can afford.  Increasing liability limits on insurance policies is very inexpensive compared to adding coverage for other things such as property damage from fire, wind or rain.  Prudence dictates not being under-insured.

If any members of your family are going to summer camp, ask the camp if they have insurance for accidents or injuries and consider purchasing supplemental camp insurance if it is offered. Medical bills are usually covered by your health insurance while injuries from accidental negligence in excess of medical bills are covered by your homeowner’s insurance.

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