How to Decrease the Risk of Drowning

On television and movies, when people are drowning, they wave their arms and call out for help.  In real life, it often does not look like that.  Usually a person that is drowning has decreased ability to breath, so it is hard for the person to call for help.  When a child drowns, there is often no sign of struggle at all.  A child may sink quietly to the bottom without a sound.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in five people who die from drowning are children aged 14 and under. On average, ten people die every day from accidental drowning.  A person generally struggles for 20-60 seconds before submersion, so leaving children unsupervised for even a moment is not worth the risk.

Drowning accidents can occur anywhere there is water.  Most accidental drownings occur at personal pools and hot tubs. However, accidents also occur at HOA pools, apartment pools, hotel pools, water parks, amusement parks, tubs, lakes, rivers and oceans.

Knowing what factors influence drowning can help save a life

  1. Lack of Swimming Ability

Many adults and children cannot swim.  Obviously, a person that can swim has a decreased risk of accidental drowning. Studies confirm that young children who participate in formal swimming lessons have a decreased risk of drowning.  However, even strong swimmers can drown.  Children should not be left unsupervised even if they are strong swimmers.

  1. Lack of Barriers

Fencing and barriers around pools decrease the likelihood that a child will enter a pool without an adult’s permission or supervision. The best barriers are those that completely separate the pool on all sides from the house and yard. 

  1. Location

The majority of adults drown in natural waters such as rivers and lakes.  The majority of young children drown in swimming pools. However, any body of water is potentially dangerous.  A person can drown in water only one inch deep. Seizure victims have drowned in their own bathtubs. 

  1. Failure to wear life jackets

Most deaths related to boating incidents are drowning. According to the CDC, 88% of the people who drowned in boat related incidents were not wearing life jackets. It is extremely important to wear a life jacket when on a boat.

Children who cannot swim should wear life jackets in boats, swimming pools and natural water.  Air-filled toys such as water wings and inner tubes are not designed to keep swimmers safe, and therefore should not be used in place of life jackets. Life jackets are designed to help keep a person’s head above water even when unconscious.

  1. Seizures

A study published in Neurology found that people with epilepsy have a 15 to 19 times greater risk of drowning compared to the general population. People who are at risk of seizures should not swim without direct supervision. 

  1. Alcohol consumption

Studies have found that alcohol consumption when swimming and/or supervising swimmers increases the risk of drowning.  Alcohol may contribute to 10 to 30% of all recreational drownings.  Alcohol impairs senses, increasing the risk of drowning.

  1. Inadequate supervision

Small children should never be allowed to swim unsupervised. Lack of supervision is linked to around 70% of child drowning deaths. 

 

Learn CPR

Emergencies are typically not planned.  Take a CPR class, so you are prepared for a cardiac emergency.  CPR can save someone’s life by giving a victim more time before paramedics arrive.

O’Hara Law Firm Can Help

We are currently accepting all types of pool negligence cases. For a free consultation, call a drowning attorney at O’Hara Law Firm.  The O’Hara Law Firm represents clients on a contingency fee basis.  Call us at 832-956-1138.  

Posted in Premise Liability

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