Water-Related Injuries & Deaths: Get the Facts & Prevention Tips

water related injuriesEvery day, about 10 people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning is the 5th leading cause of unintentional death in the United States.

Who is Most at Risk?

  • Males: Nearly 80% of people who die from drowning are males.
  • Children: Children ages 1 – 4 have the highest drowning rates. Among children ages 1 – 4, most drowning accidents occur in home swimming pools. Drowning is responsible for more deaths among children ages 1 – 4 than any other cause except birth defects.
  • Minorities: The fatal unintentional drowning rate for African Americans was significantly higher between 2005 and 2009 than that of whites across all ages. Factors such as access to swimming pools, the desire or lack of desire to learn how to swim, and choosing water-related recreational activities may contribute to the racial differences in drowning rates.

What are Some Tips To Help You and Your Kids Stay Safe in the Water?

  • Supervise when in or around water. Designate a responsible adult to watch young children while in the bath and all children swimming or playing in or around water.
  • Use the buddy system. Always swim with a buddy and teach your children the same.
  • Learn to swim and make sure your kids learn how to swim. Formal swimming lessons can protect young children and adults from drowning.
  • Learn CPR. Your CPR skills could save someone’s life in the time it takes for paramedics to arrive.
  • Air-filled or foam toys are not safety devices. Never allow your children to use a foam noodle or “water wigs” instead of a life jacket.
  • Avoid alcohol. Never swim, boat or water ski while intoxicated. Do not drink alcohol when supervising children.
  • Know the local weather conditions before swimming or boating. Strong winds and thunderstorms are dangerous.
  • If you have a swimming pool at home:
    • Install four-sided fencing that separates the pool area from the house and yard. It should be at least 4 feet high.
    • Clear the pool and deck of toys so children aren’t tempted to enter the pool area unsupervised.
    • If you are in and around natural water settings:
      • Use U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets.
      • Obey warnings represented by colored beach flags.
      • Watch for dangerous waves and signs of rip currents.
      • Swim parallel to the shore if you are caught in a rip current.

Keep your kids and yourself safe in the water this summer. Contact us for a free case appraisal today and complete our free evaluation form.

To learn more facts about water-related injuries and to get more tips on how to prevent drowning, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.