When summer arrives, children in Oakland beat the heat by taking a dip in a local swimming pool or lake. Sadly, every summer numerous children drown. Oftentimes this leads to death or catastrophic injuries that leave parents wondering about their child’s future. The following is a brief overview of unintentional drownings in the U.S.
Unintentional drowning is a serious problem in our nation. From 2005 to 2014, there were approximately 10 drowning fatalities per day and an additional 332 individuals lost their life from boating-related drowning incidents. Of these fatalities, approximately one-fifth are children age 14 and younger. And, for every child fatality due to drowning, another five children suffer nonfatal drowning injuries necessitating care in the ER. Drowning is second most cause of fatalities among children ages one through four, just under birth defects. And of children ages one to 14, drowning deaths are the second highest cause of unintentional fatalities, with car accidents being the first highest cause of fatalities among this age group.
What are some causes of drowning incidents?
There are a variety of causes of drowning incidents in the U.S. Some children (and adults) simply do not know how to swim. In addition, some pools are not fenced off appropriately to prevent children from access a pool without anyone knowing of it. A four-sided isolation fence has been shown to reduce the risk of childhood drownings by 83%. Sometimes a drowning happens due to insufficient supervision. Drownings can be quick and silent, even if a lifeguard is present and in any depth of water from a bathtub to a swimming pool. Children ages one to four are more likely to die in a home swimming pool. Children age 15 and up are more likely to drown in a natural body of water
Learn more about child injuries
Nonfatal drowning injuries can cause catastrophic, long-term injuries including severe brain damage, memory issues, learning disabilities or even end up in a permanent vegetative state. If a child’s drowning is due to negligence, it is important for parents to understand their rights and options. Our firm’s webpage on child injuries may be a good starting point for those who want to learn more about this topic.