By: Allan M. Siegel
Summer is here, and many in the DC metro area are cooling off by jumping
in the water. If you and your loved ones are enjoying water activities
this summer, we would like to remind you about the importance of keeping
yourself and your children safe.
Drowning accidents happen all the time – at private and public pools, bathtubs, the
beach, and other places where water is present. Drownings and near drownings
can also happen to people of all ages, though younger children face the
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms drowning
accidents are a serious problem throughout the country – and that
these accidents increase during summer. Here are a few facts from the CDC:
- An average of 10 people in the U.S. die from unintentional drowning each day.
- Drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death in the U.S.
- Children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates.
- For every child who dies from drowning, another five require emergency
medical treatment for submersion injuries.
- Nonfatal drowning injuries can cause severe brain damage, and may potentially
cause long-term disabilities such as memory problems and learning disabilities.
Staying Safe Around Water: How to Reduce Drowning Risks
To help you and your loved ones stay safe around water this summer, we've
compiled a list of risk factors and tips:
Swimming Skills – Statistics show swimming lessons can significantly reduce drowning
risks. Make sure you and your children have swimming skills and are comfortable
in the water. Many local youth organizations and programs offer swimming
classes during the summer. Even toddlers can learn to roll over and float
on their backs when in the water, an essential skill that could save their lives.
Fences and Barriers – Fences, gates, and barriers around pools prevent children from
accessing the pool area without supervision. Four sided isolation fences
can reduce child drowning risks by 83% compared to three-sided property
line fencing. If you have a pool at home, install a fence or barrier.
Supervision – Supervision is critical anywhere water is present, including private
and public pools and bathtubs. Children should always be supervised when
in or around water. Using the buddy system and swimming with a friend
is also safer than swimming alone.
CPR – Research has shown CPR performed quickly can save lives and improve
outcomes in drowning victims. It takes time for paramedics to arrive,
so knowing CPR and being able to quickly help a victim is important.
Shallow Water Blackout – Be careful of allowing children to hyperventilate before swimming
underwater or hold their breath for too long. This can cause them to pass
out while underwater, known as a shallow water blackout.
Avoid Alcohol – Alcohol plays a role in many preventable drowning accidents. Drink
responsibly when around water, supervising children, or boating.
Our personal injury lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel,
P.C. hope you enjoy summer and stay safe when having fun in the water.
We have handled cases involving accidents throughout the DC Metro area,
including drowning and near drowning incidents, and we offer our help
to anyone who wants to learn more about their rights after a preventable
Contact us today if you would like to discuss a potential case.