Prevent Drowning Accidents this Summer

June 18, 2014

Though summer does not officially kick off for a few more days, many Cleveland residents have already taken advantage of the sunny weather.  Around Ohio, pools are open, beaches are crowded, and everyone is having a good time.  But it is important to remember that fun at the pool is not without its hazards, particularly for children and can cause live threatening drowning accidents.

According to the CDC, drowning accidents and fatalities are “the second-leading cause of unintentional injury related death,” trailing only motor vehicle crashes.  Other non-fatal submersion injuries occur all too frequently, as well.  From 2011 through 2013, an estimated 4,900 children younger than age fifteen were treated for pool or spa submersion* injuries in emergency departments each year.  Of this number, nearly 78% of children injured were under the age of five.  Perhaps most alarming is the fact that most young children who drown do so in home swimming pools.

Fortunately, through safe practices, you can eliminate many of the risks of swimming.  The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has a comprehensive risk of life-saving tips for parents, including:

  • Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa and always watch your child when he or she is in or near water.
  • Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments.
  • Have a telephone close by when you or your family is using a pool or spa.
  • Install a four-foot or taller fence around the pool and spa and use self-closing and self-latching gates; ask your neighbors to do the same at their pools.
  • Install and use a lockable safety cover on your spa.

Children are not the only ones at risk of drowning accidents, however.  Thousands of adults die or are injured each year due to drowning and submersion injuries.  Sadly, many of these deaths and injuries are easily preventable.  Overconfidence in ones ability to swim can lead to refusal to wear life jackets, adhere to posted warnings, and to swim too far in natural bodies of water.  Alcohol, too, can lead to adult drowning, and is estimated to be involved in up to 70% of water recreation deaths among adults and adolescents.  Adults who are swimming or plan to swim should avoid consuming alcohol and always err on the side of caution when it comes to estimating your swimming capabilities.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a drowning accident, contact the experienced Ohio personal injury attorneys at Lowe Scott Fisher Co., LPA for a free telephone consultation.

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