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Risk Factors for Unintentional Drowning Accidents

Drowning is a leading cause of accident related death in the United States.

Drowning is the fifth leading cause of death resulting from unintentional injury in the United States. Approximately ten individuals lose their lives as a result of unintentional drowning every day. This statistic does not include individuals who die as a result of drowning during boating related incidents. Every year, an additional 350 individuals perish as a result of boating related drowning incidents.

Certain groups—males, children and minorities, are at greater risk of being a victim of unintentional drowning.

80 percent of individuals who die during unintentional drowning incidents are male.

In addition, one fifth of all individuals who die as a result of unintentional drowning accidents are children younger than 14 years old. Of children who die as a result of unintentional drowning accidents, those between the ages of one and four have the highest drowning rates, accounting for 30 percent of all drowning accidents among children. Drowning is second to birth defects, as a leading cause of fatalities among this age group.

The type of accident that results in unintentional drowning also varies with age. Children between the ages of one and four are most likely to drown in swimming pools. However, young adults and adults are more likely to be involved in an unintentional drowning incident which involves recreational activities in natural waters such as, lakes, rivers, and oceans. In fact, half of all drowning incidents involving an individual 15 years or older occur in a natural water environment.

In addition, according to statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), deaths resulting from unintentional drowning are more frequent for African Americans than whites of the same age group.

Several factors contribute to an individual’s risk of drowning. They include—

· Swimming Ability: Many victims of unintentional drowning accidents report that they are unable to swim. Knowing how to swim can drastically reduce the likelihood of being involved in an unintentional drowning accident. This is particularly true for children between the ages of one and four.

· Barriers and Supervision: Barriers, such as isolation fences that prohibit children from accessing a pool area can reduce the likelihood of unintentional drowning. In addition, the presence of lifeguards can help prevent unintentional drowning and save lives.

· Life Jackets: Failing to wear a life jacket significantly increases the likelihood of drowning. For example, in 2010, 88 percent of all boat accident related fatalities that the U.S. Coast Guard responded to involved individuals who were not wearing a life jacket.

· Alcohol Consumption: 70 percent of all unintentional drowning accidents involve alcohol consumption.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a unintentional drowning accident that resulted from someone else’s negligence, you should contact an attorneyimmediately in order to determine whether you are entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses.