Swimming pools may seem harmless enough, but you might be surprised to learn that drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States. In fact, approximately ten people die from unintentional drowning every day.
Out of the almost 4,000, people that died because of drowning from 2005-2009, about 20% of them were children ages 14 or younger. And for every child who dies from drowning, five more receive emergency care for nonfatal submersion injuries.
Similar to car accidents, nonfatal drowning incidents can be devastating to one’s quality of life. These injuries can cause severe brain damage that results in memory loss, learning disabilities or reduce someone to permanent vegetative state.
What are the Main Factors?
Catastrophic drowning incidents are typically a combination of the following factors:
- Inability to Swim: Obviously, the better you are at swimming, the less likely you are to drown.
- No Supervision: Even for experienced swimmers, the “buddy system” might be the way to go. Swim with someone else.
- No Barriers: Pools that don’t have fences can invite unwanted, and potentially vulnerable, visitors such as small children.
- No Life Jackets: There’s no better way to prevent a drowning accident than by wearing a life jacket.
- Alcohol Consumption: Everyone knows they can’t drink and drive safely. Swimming while intoxicated can be just as dangerous.
What are Ways to Prevent Drowning Accidents?
- Take Swimming Classes: As previously mentioned, being a skilled swimmer reduces risk of drowning. What better way to sharpen swimming skills than learning from professionals?
- Learn CPR: When someone is gasping for air, it becomes a matter of seconds before irreparable damage could occur. Learning CPR could save someone’s life.
- Wear a Life Jacket: Drowning accidents can happen quickly and quietly. Why not protect yourself?
The heat of summer can take a toll on anyone and there’s no better way to cool down than swimming. As long as you’re aware of the dangers and take proper safety precautions, you can stay safe around the water this summer.