It’s that time of year again! Swimming pools, beaches and water parks are packed with families eager to cool off in the stifling summer heat. While plenty of great memories are sure to be made poolside, it’s also a good time to remind parents and guardians of the dangers of water activities.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 people die every day from drowning which is an average of 3,880 people per year. After motor vehicle accidents, drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children of all ages. 90% of these parents say they were watching their children, however, were distracted by other activities such as reading, talking or taking care of another child.
It only takes a second for a child to get into trouble. Furthermore, drowning rarely involves splashing, waving and yelling as you might see in a movie scene. This is proven by the fact that half of all drowning deaths take place within 25 yards of a parent. Drowning does not look like drowning:
1. Drowning people are not able to call out for help. They must be able to breathe sufficiently before speech can occur.
2. Drowning people cannot wave for help. Forcing their arms down in the water allows them to lift their mouths out of the water for air. This also means they are unable to reach out for rescue equipment.
3. Drowning people remain upright in the water with submersion occurring in 20-30 seconds.
Look for these signs:
• Eyes glassy
• Eyes closed
• Head low in water
• Head tilted back with mouth open
• Vertical – not using legs
• Trying to roll over on back
• Appears to be climbing an invisible ladder
Remember that drowning is most often quick and quiet. Fences, swimming lessons, and flotation devices are helpful, but parental supervision is the best defense.
If you or someone you know was injured or killed by improper pool markings (depth) or improper supervision (daycare worker or lifeguard), call us at 404.MCALEER. Visit mcaleerlaw.com for more information.