The CDC has reported that every day, approximately 10 people die from unintentional drowning and ranks fifth among leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States. About one in five people who die from drowning are 14 and younger. Non-fatal drowning injuries can lead to severe brain damage resulting in long-term disabilities. Those most at risk are males, children ages 1-4, and minorities.
Some of The Main Factors
- Lack of ability to swim
- Lack of Barriers
- Lack of Supervision
- Alcohol Use
- Seizure Disorders
So how do I reduce my risk of water-related injuries?
According to the CDC, research has shown that “participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning among children aged 1 to 4 years old.” However, it’s never too late to learn how to swim. No matter what your age, learning to swim will help you with not only decreasing the odds of suffering from water-related injuries, but will help you overcome your fear of the water as well.
If you have a private pool, pool fencing like a 4-sided isolation fence reduces a child’s risk of drowning by 83% compared to a 3-sided fence. Make sure you have a barrier around your pool if you have a little one. We all know how curious a child can be, and even if we think we have it under control, our children can sneak out in an instant and accidentally fall into the pool without the necessary safeguards in place.
Keep an eye on those who are swimming with you. We stress close supervision to parents with children, but just because you are with an adult, that doesn’t mean accidental drowning can’t happen to them as well. Drowning happens in an instant, even in bathtubs and as little as a few inches of water.
Alcohol is said to be involved with up to 70% of deaths associated with water recreation. Holidays at the beach and poolside are fun, but when alcohol plays a part in this fun, it can sometimes be deadly if it isn’t consumed responsibly. When you add the beating sun to the mix, the effects of alcohol become more prevalent and dangerous. As with everything else in life, be responsible while drinking and swimming, and the most important thing to remember with alcohol is to refrain from drinking while supervising children.
Lastly, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) education is important. Knowing this life-saving technique and what to do if someone went into cardiac arrest could very well mean the difference between helping someone stay alive during the time it takes for the paramedics arrive. Survival depends greatly on receiving CPR right away.
Wrapping up, remember these important facts:
- Keep a border around your pool
- Supervise children and keep an eye out for swim buddies
- Limit your alcohol intake and NEVER drink while supervising a child
- Learn CPR