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Drowning Accidents: A Reminder to Parents this Summer

A video released last week on Good magazine is sending a chilling reminder to parents of the dangers of child swimming accidents.

According to the CDC, 10 people die each day as the result of a swimming-related accident. Two of those deaths, include children ages 14 and under, the CDC says; drowning accidents are the leading cause of death in children between the ages of 1 and 4. In 2012, there the CPSC reported 364 fatal swimming accidents; the majority occurred in residential swimming pools. In more than 50% of drowning incidences, drowning victims who were not fatally injured required hospitalization and further care for severe brain injuries, long-term disabilities (memory problems, learning disabilities, loss of bodily function, etc.)

Factors Impacting Instance of Drowning

  • Lack of swimming ability: Lack of an ability to swim is one of the main causes of fatal or serious drowning incidences. Parents can drastically decrease the risk of drowning by enrolling their children in swimming lessons.
  • Lack of Barriers: Not having adequate protective peripheral barriers around pool or body of water (such as a fence with a locking gate).
  • Lack of supervision: Drowning can happen quickly and quietly, so it is of the utmost importance for parents and caregivers to pay special attention while a child is swimming in a pool.
  • Location: Drowning is more apt to occur when a child is unfamiliar with his/her surroundings. For example, a child is more likely to be involved in a swimming accident if he/she is swimming in a lake but is used to swimming in a shallow swimming pool.
  • Failing to wear life jackets and other protective flotation device: According to the CDC, 88% of victims of boating accidents were fatally injured because they were not wearing a lifejacket. Inadequate use of flotation devices is a factor in fatal drowning accidents.
  • Alcohol/Drug use: Substance use while swimming is NEVER advised. Using drugs or consuming alcohol increases the risk of injury, especially while swimming.

Some Safety Tips Around Water

  • Always Supervise Children When in or Around Water. Elect a responsible adult to supervise children while around water, whether it be the bathtub or around a pool. Adults should always pay attention to children while in the water—that means not being distracted by cell phones or other activities.
  • Use a Buddy System It is never a good idea to swim alone. If you don’t have a “buddy” to swim with, choose a swimming area that had lifeguards on duty.
  • Learn CPR CPR is an invaluable skill to have; in the time it takes for EMS to arrive, you could save a victim’s life.
  • Learn to Swim Take formal swimming lessons to learn proper swimming and safety techniques.
  • Avoid Alcohol 

Swimming Accidents

Swimming accidents can be caused by a number of factors. In addition to inadequate swimming ability, swimming accidents may be caused by premises negligence as well as insufficient safety precautions on behalf of the property owner (such as lifeguards, proper barriers, inadequate labeling of pool depths that could result in diving incidents, etc.)

If you or a loved one was injured in a pool accident and you suspect it was the result of negligence on behalf of the property owner, it is generally within your best interest to consult a legal professional. At the law offices of Altman & Altman, LLP, our team of seasoned attorneys has nearly 50 years of experience handling all types of personal injury cases, including pool and water incidents. We can evaluate your case and determine whether you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries. Call our office today to schedule a free initial consultation. Our team of attorneys is available around the clock to answer any questions you may have and all consultations are completely free and confidential.

 

See the video from Good Magazine here.