Surviving the Drowning Season
We’re on the cusp of summer, and, unfortunately, on the brink of the drowning season.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning is a leading cause of death worldwide, and the highest rates are among children. In the U.S., drowning is the leading cause of “injury death” among children ages 1 to 4. At least half of those victims drowned in swimming pools.
Drowning death rates are higher than the rates for all other causes of death in young children except for congenital disorders.
From 2005 to 2009, nearly 6,000 people were treated annually in U.S. emergency rooms for nonfatal misadventures in the water. More than half were children younger than 4, and more than 17 in 100 were children from 5 to 14. (Among people older than 15, more than 1 in 5 water accidents were associated with alcohol use.) Half of all those emergency patients required hospitalization or were transferred to another facility for further care.
To prevent drowning, all parents and children should learn survival swimming skills—the ability to right oneself after falling into water, to swim a short distance and float or tread water. In addition:
- The swimming environment should be protected by lifeguards, and pools should have fencing on four sides that separates the pool from the house and yard.
- Avoid consuming alcohol when swimming, boating, water-skiing or supervising children.
- All boaters and weaker swimmers should wear life jackets.
- Caregivers/supervisors should be trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
For additional information about drowning risk factors and prevention strategies, visit the CDC’s website about water-related injuries.
Families interested in learning more about our firm's legal services, including legal representation for children who have suffered serious injuries in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia due to medical malpractice, defective products, birth-related trauma or other injuries, may ask questions or send us information about a particular case by phone or email. There is no charge for contacting us regarding your inquiry. An attorney will respond within 24 hours.
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