When someone is drowning in the movies, Hollywood shows them waving their arms and calling out for help. In reality, drowning doesn’t always look like that. More often than not, a drowning person has decreased mental and lung capacities, so it’s hard for them to show that they’re in trouble.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in five people who die from drowning are kids aged 14 and under. A person generally struggles for 20-60 seconds before submersion, so leaving kids unsupervised for even a moment is not worth the risk.
Knowing what factors influence drowning can help save a life
- Inadequate swimming abilityEven expert swimmers can fall victim to drowning, but beginners are especially vulnerable. It’s a good idea to sign kids up for swimming lessons. The lessons are a great way to get kids acquainted with the basics of pool safety, but it’s important to note that formal swimming lessons are not a substitute for adult supervision.
- Failure to wear life jacketsU.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets are designed to keep a wearer’s head above water and body in an upright position so that the person can breathe. A life jacket doesn’t replace the need for adult supervision or learning how to swim—it’s just an added layer of protection against drowning.
Air-filled toys such as water wings and inner tubes are not designed to keep swimmers safe, and therefore should not be used in place of life jackets.
- SeizuresKids who are prone to seizures should always wear a life jacket and have one-on-one supervision, regardless of swimming skills or age.
In the event that a seizure occurs in the water, support the kid’s head to keep it out of the water, check on their breathing, and bring them to the edge of the pool or out of it if possible. If their breathing is labored or noisy, or if they are not alert, perform CPR and have someone call 911 immediately.
- Alcohol consumptionAlcohol impairs judgement and reduces coordination, so you should never consume it before or during supervising swimmers. If you need a beverage to stay hydrated and cool, try water, iced tea, or juice.
- Inadequate supervisionThere is simply no alternative to supervision when kids are in a pool. Designate a responsible adult to keep an eye on swimmers. Drowning can occur quickly and quietly, so this person should not be involved in any distracting activities such as reading or texting. A cell phone should be nearby but should only be used to call for help
Drowning accidents are never planned. You should always be prepared for such an emergency. Consider taking a CPR course so you’re prepared in the event of a cardiac emergency. In the time it takes for paramedics to arrive, your CPR skills could save someone’s life.
Many community centers and local hospitals offer online or in-person CPR courses. You can also find courses through the American Red Cross and The American Heart Association.
Pintas & Mullins Can Help You
We are currently accepting all types of pool negligence and drowning accident cases nationwide. All of our consultations are free, and all of our cases are handled on a contingency basis, which means that we don’t get paid unless we earn you compensation. Call our dedicated drowning accident attorneys today at (800) 794-0444.
Call (800) 794-0444 or contact us online for a free consultation. Our lawyers travel all across the United States, accepting cases nationwide.