Drowning accidents are very difficult to hear about because they can be prevented. A majority of these tragedies could have been stopped by following a few simple rules.
More than 200,000 swimming-related child injuries require medical treatment each year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. It is also reported that each day about 10 people die from unintentional drowning accidents – not including boating accidents. The reports also show that two of the deaths each day are children that are younger than 15 years old. Drowning accidents are also the second most common cause of injury death among children under 14.
Approximately 80 percent of drowning accidents are males. This could be due to their heightened risk-taking characteristics.
Drowning Preventative Measures
- Learn to swim, before you swim. Preferably around the age of 3 or 4. But it is never too late to learn if you did not learn as a child.
- If you have a private pool, make sure to keep it secured with a locked fence to keep young children out and uninvited guests. Also have depth markers and rescue equipment at the pool.
- Never swim alone. Have a friend who is an experienced swimmer and swim only in supervised areas. A swimmer that is inexperienced should wear a life jacket in the water (this includes adults).
- An adult, who is a good swimmer, should supervise children by water at all times.
- Never dive into shallow or murky water – consider that girl who was found two days after having been at the bottom of the pool and no one could see her through the dirty water.
- Do not swim after a storm – the current may be a lot stronger and there may be hidden obstacles.
- Do not swim in water if there is an electric storm in the nearby area. Lightning can travel through water up to a mile.
- Before jumping into the ocean at the beach, check the temperature of the water and how strong the waves are. Swimming in very cold water can be very shocking and may impair your muscles, which make it harder to swim efficiently.
- Eighty percent of ocean lifeguard rescues involve people that are in rip currents. If you do get caught up in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until the pull of the current stops. Tread water and wave for assistance if this happens to you.
- Drinking and swimming is a huge danger that we encourage people to not partake in.
- Do not swim in the dark. Pretty self-explanatory.
- If you want to engage in strenuous and long distance swimming, you should strengthen your shoulder and upper back muscles. Make sure to stretch before and after getting into the water.
- You never stop learning. If you are an experienced swimmer, there are still lessons you can learn to improve your technique, which will reduce the risk of repetitive stress injuries.
- Wear sunscreen when swimming outside.
- Consider wearing foot protection if you are swimming in natural waters.
- The most important rule: know your limits. Do not push it. Just because someone else wants to swim to the other side of lake, does not mean that you are capable of doing it.
Child Injury Attorneys
If you or someone you loved was injured in a drowning accident due to someone else's negligence, it's likely in your best interests to contact an attorney and learn more about your legal options and individual legal rights.
Seattle child injury attorney Chris Davis and the attorneys at the Davis Law Group, P.S., offer free consultation. Call (206)727-4000 or use the contact form on this page to schedule an appointment.