Florida’s July Drowning Fatalities remind us to be Vigilant Around Water

We are lucky here in South Florida to have year-round nice weather. This allows us to enjoy the outdoors much longer than some of our friends up north. With all the sunny, warm days we have here, there is plenty of time to cool down with a dip in the pool or ocean. Unfortunately, if we don’t take the right precautions, a dip in the water can turn deadly for someone who is not an experienced swimmer.

In the month of July, Florida had nine fatal drownings. Unfortunately, these tragedies put our state in the top three in the nation for drowning deaths that month, according to the U.S. Swimming Foundation. Parents should always be extra careful as kids play around water, no matter what type of water that may be. When it comes to drowning, here are some stats and tips to consider for a safe water experience.

Drowning Statistics

According to the CDC, drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death for people of all ages, and the second leading cause of injury death for kids from one to 14. It is also the number one leading cause of unintentional death for kids one to four.

How to Know if Someone is Drowning

There are some things you should look for if it appears that someone may be drowning.

  • Calls for help from the struggling person should never be ignored.
  • Their head may be bobbing on the top of the water.
  • Their head may be tilted back with the mouth open.
  • Oftentimes, those who struggle to swim will not be using their legs, and their arms will be wide and pressing down as they try to push themselves above water.

Note that those who are drowning can only struggle for about 60 seconds before their body will be completely submerged.

Tips to Avoid Drowning

  • Never leave kids unattended when near or in water.
  • Consider enrolling your kids in swim classes, and ensure all family members have learned how to swim.
  • Adults should be trained in CPR.
  • Designate a person to watch those in the water at all times. This person should remain distraction free.
  • Educate your kids on the dangers of pool drains and diving down deeply if they are not strong swimmers.
  • If you have a pool at your home, make sure that it is secured behind a safety fence or gate.

Dry and Secondary Drowning

Dry, or secondary drowning, can happen up to 24 hours after someone has been in water. This occurs when a person inhales water and it causes a spasm in their airway leading to additional health complications. If your child has a near-drowning experience, or inhales too much water, pay close attention to their breathing and mannerisms for anything unusual or that gives you reason to think they are having difficulty breathing. Monitor their health for a few days after the incident.

Water safety is an important topic to discuss with your family, friends, and kids. If you feel that your child has suffered an injury while in water due to the negligence of another, it’s important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney. Your attorney may be able to help you recover financially from the consequences of the injury.

References:

New data shows Florida children drowning in swimming pools at alarming rate. (2017, August 03). Retrieved August 09, 2017, from http://www.wtxl.com/ap/new-data-shows-florida-children-drowning-in-swimming-pools-at/article_a2eccf7a-787e-11e7-aff6-5372cd63396d.html

(2015, June 01). What Does Drowning Look Like? Retrieved August 09, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YL9wb4tUlhI