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Texas Drowning Accidents on The Rise in Summer

Playing in the water

 

Not only is swimming a great form of exercise for all ages, but during the hot summer months, it is a great way to relax and cool off. However, swimming does come with inherent risks, as drowning is a real threat to swimmers, with roughly 11 people dying by unintentional drowning per day in the United States.

Of course, the number of drowning deaths and near-drowning accidents increases significantly in the summer, as more people spend time in the pool or on open water such as lakes, ponds, rivers, or the ocean when temperatures increase.

While drowning accidents can occur unexpectedly, the fact is that most of these incidents are preventable with the proper precautions. To help keep your family safe this summer, keep reading to learn more about drowning deaths, including risk factors and the steps you can take to protect your loved ones.

Downing Risk Factors and Prevention

While anyone can drown in the wrong circumstances, such as a powerful current the swimmer was unaware of, certain groups are at higher risk of drowning. Children are at the highest risk of dying from drowning.

In fact, according to the CDC, drowning is the number one cause of accidental death in children ages 1-4.  And is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children ages 1-14. The risk is exceptionally high for children who do not know how to swim.

As drowning deaths often occur when they are not expected to be near water, such as when they gain unsupervised access to swimming pools.

Fortunately, knowing the most common drowning risk factors can help you take steps to reduce the risk of you or a loved one drowning the next time you go swimming.

Some of the most common risk factors for drowning include:

 

  • Not Being Able to Swim: Regardless of age, one of the most significant risk factors for drowning is not being able to swim.
  • Fortunately, participation in formal swimming lessons can help reduce the incidence of drowning. Proper swimming lessons have been shown to reduce a child’s risk of drowning by as high as 88%. swimming in a lake

Of course, regardless of their swimming experience, children should never be left unattended around water.

  • Lack of Supervision: One of the most common drowning causes is lack of supervision, particularly in children. While people often underestimate how quickly a drowning can occur, drowning can happen in as little as 20-60 seconds.

For this reason, children must never be left alone near water such as a pool, pond, bathtub, or even a bucket of water.

Children need to be constantly supervised around water as it only takes a few inches of water for a child to drown. Even adults should make a point of not swimming alone.

I am having someone with you when swimming can be essential in preventing a drowning accident.

  • Not Wearing Life Jackets: In 2019, 79% of boating fatalities resulted from drowning, and 86% of these victims were not wearing life jackets. There must be enough life jackets for everyone when boating, and it is best to insist that everyone always wears their life jackets.

Additionally, it is recommended that children (as well as weak swimmers of any age) use life jackets whenever they are in and around natural bodies of water.

  • Lack of Proper Fencing: One of the most effective steps homeowners with pools can take to prevent drowning deaths on their property is to install a four-sided fence separating the pool area from the house and yard, as this can reduce the risk of unintentional drowning death by 83%.

While homeowners often put off installing such a fence as it can be costly, it is essential to keep children safe on your property by ensuring that only supervised children can enter the pool area.

Pool safety fences should have self-closing and self-latching gates, and the wall and latch should be tall enough to keep young children out of the pool area.

Regardless of age and risk factors, drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury and death in the United States.

It is then essential that you know the common causes of drowning and steps that you can take to prevent a drowning injury or death to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones.

Open Water Drowning

While many drowning accidents occur in pools, a study published by Safe Kids Worldwide emphasizes that open water drownings are increasing. Open water drownings occur in places other than pools such as lakes, reservoirs, ponds, rivers, and the ocean.

According to the study, 43% of drowning accidents involving minors occur in open water instead of 38% in pools. Open water drownings are becoming so common that it is estimated that open water drowning or near-drowning accidents impact about 150 families each week.

 

It is believed that open water drownings occur more frequently because people are unaware of the differences between swimming in a natural body of water compared to a pool. While swimming pools provide a safe and predictable swimming environment, floating conditions can be unpredictable in open water.

Not only can water depth change rapidly in open water, but currents and concealed hazards hidden by weeds, debris, and murky water can pose a threat to swimmers.

Like this, one of the biggest things that you can do to prevent drowning deaths is to know the risks open water poses and take extra precautions when swimming in natural bodies of water. Before swimming in open water, make sure to check the weather and water conditions, including any wind advisories, tide notifications, and information about riptides and currents.

Also, it is crucial that you only swim in designated swimming areas (preferably where there is a lifeguard on duty) and that you pay attention to any posted warnings about unsafe swimming conditions.

When to Consult an Attorney

Drowning deaths can often be prevented, and in some cases, the death may have even been the result of someone else’s negligence. Mainly when drowning deaths occur in a pool, the owner of the premises may be liable, as property owners are required to ensure potential dangers are mitigated.

For instance, a pool that has a filter with excessive suction must have a proper cover installed to prevent it from pulling children underwater.

If such a cover was not installed and a child was injured or drowned. As a result, the property owner may be liable.

If your child or loved one was injured or drowned due to negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and other damages.

Contact the leading personal injury lawyers in Houston at Baumgartner Law Firm for a consultation today at (281) 587-1111.

 

 

 

 

Greg Baumgartner

attorney greg baumgartner

Greg Baumgartner has practiced personal injury law since 1984. He holds not one but two law degrees and is a graduate of Trial Lawyers College. He is licensed in Texas and Colorado. Mr. Baumgartner has earned a reputation for exemplary results for his clients. And has been preeminent rated for decades and recognized by Top 100 Trial Lawyers, Super Lawyers, Expertise, Newsweek, Houstonia magazine, and many others. He has given educational talks to lawyers and many media interviews regarding personal injury cases.