Drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury deaths in the United States, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Each year almost 350 children under the age of five drown and 3,600 children end up in the emergency room after nearly drowning in residential swimming pools. Most swimming pool accidents involve drowning, near-fatal submersions, diving mishaps, and falls. The best way to prevent a drowning accident is to be aware of the signs of drowning.
- Nine people drown in the United States every day.
- For every drowning death there are 1 to 4 nonfatal near-drowning accidents serious enough to require hospitalization.
- Drowning is the second highest cause of accidental injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14.
- Drowning is the leading cause of accidental injury-related death for children ages 1 to 4.
- Male children drown at twice the rate of female children in swimming pools although female children have twice the rate of drowning in bathtubs.
- Most drownings among children aged 1 to 4 occur in residential swimming pools.
- Drownings can be reduced by 50 to 90 percent with the implementation of a locked four-sided fence that isolates the pool from the house and yard.
- 11 percent of all pool drownings for children under age 5 occur in portable pools.
- 19 percent of child drowning fatalities happen in a public pool with certified lifeguards on duty.
- About 5,000 children 14 and under are admitted to the hospital each year due to accidental drowning-related incidents; 15 percent die and about 20 percent suffer from permanent neurological disability.
- Seventy-seven percent of children who suffer a home-drowning accident had only been missing for five minutes or less when found in the swimming pool and 70 percent weren’t expected to be in or near the pool at the time of the incident.
- In nearly 9 out of 10 child-drowning deaths, a parent or caregiver say they were watching the child.*
- When children learn to swim in formal swimming lessons, the risk of drowning can be reduced by 88 percent among children ages 1 to 4.
*Know the Signs of Drowning
- A drowning child often slips silently beneath the surface; there is often no cry for help, waving arms, wild splashing, or gasping for air.
- Once underwater, a person may not come back to the surface; you often won’t see any bobbing up and down.
- A drowning child can “disappear” underwater; a disturbed water surface, glare, and reflection can all cause submerged bodies to become invisible.
To ensure everyone’s safety, lifeguards should frequently leave the lifeguard stand to see the bottom of the pool. Close supervision by sober adults and life vests for children under the age of 4 are key to swimming safety in private pools.
Pool safety is a serious responsibility. Nonfatal drownings can result in brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities including memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning. While lack of swimming ability is a leading cause of drowning, so is negligence by pool owners. Factors like the lack of pool fencing, the absence of close supervision, and the availability of alcohol are frequent causes of drownings.
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is two to three times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. today for a FREE consultation! You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!Read More
Secondary Drowning: What You Need to Know
Although most people have never heard of it, secondary drowning has been making headlines in the last couple of years as tragic cases have made national news. Everyone is aware that drowning is a serious concern but it turns out that drowning doesn’t always occur while someone is in the water. Secondary drowning accounts for just one to three percent of all drowning deaths but it is important to know its symptoms in case your child is in trouble. So what exactly is secondary drowning?
Secondary Drowning Defined
Secondary Drowning is defined as pulmonary edema that occurs one to 24 hours after a near-drowning due to loss of surfactant. It is a secondary injury to the lung caused by a small amount of water being inhaled into the lung from a near-drowning incident or a sudden rush of water. It is sometimes also called “parking lot drowning” in reference to the fact that the person leaves the water and then drowns.
What is so terrifying about secondary drowning is that the swimmer often appears fine immediately after the water is inhaled but over the next 24 hours the water in the lungs starts to cause edema (swelling). When the lungs’ alveoli are filled with water, they cannot exchange oxygen to and from the blood and this causes the heart to slow as the swimmer’s blood oxygen level drops.
The exact number of secondary drownings is not known as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Consumer Product Safety Commission don’t separate active (or wet) drowning incidents from secondary drownings in their statistics. There are about 400 pool and spa drownings each year in the United States that involve children younger than 15 years old; 75 percent of these deaths occur in children under the age of five.
Secondary Drowning Symptoms
Symptoms of secondary drowning appear one to 24 hours after the incident and can include:
- persistent coughing
- shortness of breath
- chest pain
- unusual mood change
Parents should keep an eye out for complaints of these symptoms because if the swelling is caught early, doctors can administer oxygen and try to remove the fluid from the lungs using diuretics and positive air pressure.
If the symptoms go untreated, the water irritates the lung tissue, causing inflammation that then progresses to pulmonary edema (you will see a pink frothy discharge from the victim’s nose and mouth), hypoxia/anoxia, respiratory and cardiac arrest, and death. The lungs themselves start to create fluid; you are literally filling up with fluid and drowning even though you are no longer in the water.
The American Red Cross recently launched a national campaign to reduce the drowning rate in 50 U.S. cities by 50% over the next three to five years. Check with your local pool for certified swimming instructors and classes.
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is two to three times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. today for a FREE consultation!Read More
Protect your Kids from Swimming Pool Accidents
Swimming is a fun, healthy activity and a great way to cool off from the summer heat. Kids and adults can share in the fun but it’s our responsibility to keep our children safe from swimming pool accidents. Sadly, swimming accidents occur on a fairly common basis and they can be deadly. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) each year almost 350 children under the age of five drown and 3,600 children end up in the emergency room after nearly drowning in residential swimming pools. Most swimming pool accidents involve drowning, near-fatal submersions, diving mishaps and falls.
Tips to Prevent Swimming Pool Accidents
- NEVER leave a child without adult supervision while swimming in a pool, no matter how shallow the water. Drowning is the second leading cause of death among children under 14 years old. Children under the age of five are the most likely to drown in an unsupervised pool with 75 percent being between the ages of one and three.
- Dress your child in a bright bathing suit and consider floating attire for added buoyancy.
- Install proper fencing to avoid unwanted access. The CPSC (PDF) has guidelines to help you properly install pool barriers.
- Once fencing is installed, always lock the gates to the pool when not in use.
- Enroll your kids in swimming lessons at a young age and keep them up through childhood. Private clubs often offer lessons but there are also some great public options such as the YMCA or a local Aquatic Center. Children under the age of three must be attended by an adult.
Federal, State and Local Pool Safety Acts
The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act is the major federal pool-safety law put into effect in 2008 as a result of many drowning and other serious injuries caused by suction in faulty or missing pool drain covers.
There are also many state and local swimming pool laws affecting private, residential and public pools. The laws vary but many include provisions about fencing, alarms, supervision and warning signs. Washington State has its recreational swimming rules outlined by its department of health.
Swimming Pool Owner Liability
If you own a pool and have friends or family over to play, you are taking on a big legal responsibility. You are obligated to keep the pool safely maintained or you could held liable for any injuries or deaths caused by your failure to follow the safety regulations.
1. Invitee – An invitee is a welcome guest in your pool who is there to swim for social reasons. Your responsibility includes adequate pool maintenance and proper signage to warn of any danger in or around the pool area.
2. Licensee – A licensee is a person who enters the pool or surrounding area to work; for example, to service the pool. The pool owner is legally obligated to notify a licensee of any hidden dangers in or around the pool.
3. Trespasser – A trespasser is a person who doesn’t have your permission to enter the pool, typically someone who jumps a fence to swim without your knowledge. The pool’s owner is not usually held responsible for accidents incurred by a trespasser but could be if they are aware of the trespassing and do nothing to stop it, making them invitees.
If your child has suffered a serious injury or death due to a swimming pool accident you should have the experienced swimming pool accident attorneysat Bellingham’s Tario & Associates on your side. Contact us today!We will gather the evidence and fight to get you the compensation you deserve.Read More