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Children at the Biggest Risk of Drowning
Despite being rarely talked about as a major problem, drowning remains the fifth leading cause of unintentional death in the United States. From 2005-2009 there have been an average of 3,533 fatal unintentional drownings each year in the United States. This averages out to almost ten drownings a day. Of these, two of them are children aged 14 and younger. For every child that dies, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries. Stories such as Alise Nipper’s can be found in newspapers across the country, especially in the summer, when the rate of drownings rises dramatically. Alise, a three old from Missouri, was at a pool party in late July, when she was pulled from the water, limp and lifeless. After receiving CPR from party guests and paramedics, her heartbeat had returned before she had even arrived at the local hospital. Her heartbeat had been stopped for 12 minutes.
What Puts You at Risk?
Some of the most common factors that affect the risk of drowning are:
Swimming Ability: Many adult and fans have reported that they cannot swim. Research has shown that participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning among children ages 1-4.
Lack of Barriers: Pool fences, as well as other barriers, prevent young children from getting access to a pool area without the awareness of their caregivers. A fence that separates the pool area from the house and yard, (four-sided isolation fence), reduces a child’s risk of drowning by 83% when compared to a three-sided property-line fencing.
Lack of Close Supervision: Drownings can happen quickly in any location where there is water, including bathtubs, swimming pools, and even buckets. Drowning can also occur even in the presence of lifeguards.
Locations: People of different ages drown in different places. Most children ages 1-4 drown in swimming pools, while the percentage of drownings that occur in natural water settings, including lakes, rivers, and oceans, increases with age. Over 57% of all fatal and nonfatal drownings among people ages 15 and older occurred in natural water setting.
Failure to Wear Life Jackets: The US Coast Guard reported that in 2010, 72% of the 672 boating deaths that occurred in the US were caused by drowning, with 88% of these drownings occurred with the victim not wearing a life jacket.
Alcohol Use: Among both adults and adolescents, alcohol use is involved in up to 70% of deaths associated with water recreation. Alcohol use also accounts for almost a quarter of emergency room visits for drowning and about one in five reported boating deaths. Alcohol can affect balance, coordination, and judgment, and its effects are heightened by sun exposure and heat, all of which can adversely affect the risk of drowning.
Contact Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or death due to a drowning, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC are here to help you with your case. Contact us today for a free consultation