Accidents involving drowning have become quite common in recent years, with it being estimated that every single day approximately 10 individuals lose their lives due to unintentional and accidental drowning. Of these 10, two are children and young teens under the age of 14. For every two of the children who die, five are rescued every day, but they often suffer from unintentional drowning-related injuries and require emergency care for non-fatal drowning accidents. In fact, accidental drowning is considered the second most common cause of death in preschoolers and toddlers. And over all, unintentional injuries and drowning accidents are the fifth major cause of death in the United States.
Drowning incidents are a major cause of concern. Especially in the summer months, when many individuals are likely to be spending more time in pools or in bodies of water, one needs to be more careful and alert.
Statistics related to drowning accidents
The number of individuals who have lost their lives due to accidental drowning from 2005 to 2014 has been pegged at 3,536 deaths, which approximates to ten deaths per day. This figure does not take into account the deaths caused due to boating-related drowning and accidents.
Statistics also reveal that of the victims rescued from drowning accidents and treated at EDs (or emergency departments), more than fifty percent of them need to be transferred or require hospitalization for further treatment. These accidents can cause brain damage, which can further lead to disabilities, such as memory loss, permanent loss of basic body functioning, or learning disabilities.
Risk factors that increase chances of drowning
There are a few risk factors that can amplify the chances of drowning:
- The lack of ability to swim is one of the chief factors that can result in drowning accidents. It has been found that many adults and children enter the water without knowing how to swim; therefore, learning to swim is highly recommended.
- The lack of supervisors and supervision can result in drowning as it happens so quietly and quickly.
- The lack of barriers and fencing around swimming pools whether at home (in the backyard) or in community pools increases the chances of kids falling in accidentally and drowning.
- The use of alcohol while swimming can disorient the swimmer, leading to drowning accidents.
- The failure to wear safety gear, such as life jackets, while swimming and boating increases the chances of drowning.
- Suffering from a disorder, such as a seizure disorder, can lead to fatal consequences, with drowning (even in bathtubs) being one of the main reasons for the deaths of those suffering from such conditions.
Prevention of drowning accidents
Since drowning occurs so quietly and quickly, there are barely any noticeable symptoms on the outside. Thus, it makes it necessary for lifeguards and supervisors to be very attentive and for swimmers to take necessary precautions and preventive measures.
Safety measures, including learning how to swim, using life jackets, and learning CPR (or cardiopulmonary resuscitation), can help save others. Additionally, following the buddy system, which means to swim with a buddy rather than swimming alone, helps in case of accidents. Also, ensure there is supervision, especially while kids are swimming, and avoid alcohol (for adults). In addition, foam toys and floaters should not be considered as safety devices, and fencing should be installed for pools in the backyard.