Kids and Teens: Avoiding Water-Related Injuries and Death
April 25, 2019
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately ten fatal and unintentional drownings (non-boating related) happen every day in the United States. On average, one in five drowning victims are children 14-years-old or younger, and for every child fatality that occurs, five others require medical emergency treatment.
With pool and beach season approaching we have compiled an array of useful tips on keeping kids and teens safe when they go swimming.
Water-Related Injuries and Fatalities in the U.S.
The CDC identified people who are at the most risk for fatal and nonfatal drowning and related injuries. According to the administration’s data, the most at-risk groups are:
- Minorities (African American children between the ages of 5 and 19-years-old drown in swimming pools at rates more than 5 times higher than white children);
- Males (80% of all drowning victims are male), and:
- Children between the ages of 1 and 4-years-old, as well as being the second-leading cause of death in children between the ages of 1 and 14-years-old
Children between the ages of 1 and 4-years-old are more likely to drown in pools, whereas children 5 years and older are more likely to drown in natural bodies of water like lakes, rivers, the ocean, and ponds.
Certain factors are shown to increase the likelihood of drowning. Known risk factors for fatal and nonfatal swimming-related injuries include:
- Lack of close supervision (drowning can happen in the blink of an eye, and even when lifeguards are around);
- Lack of swimming ability (research consistently indicates that formal swimming lessons decrease a person’s risk for drowning);
- Lack of barriers (like pool fencing, gates, etc.), and:
- Alcohol use (this is primarily an issue among teen and adult swimmers)
Safe Swimming Tips For Kids And Teens
Safe Kids Worldwide (SKW) is a non-profit organization that raises awareness on a variety of safety topics, including how to keep kids and teens safe around water. Here are some examples of SKW’s top swimming safety tips:
- Teach children how to swim before they are near any body of water. If you have questions about when to start swim lessons, ask your pediatrician;
- Always supervise children and teens when they are in or around water – and that means without distractions! And:
- Teach kids the difference between swimming in a pool and open water. Teach them about currents, undertows, and inclement weather
It is important to make sure that pool areas are secured, as well as to ensure that any gates and fencing is locked when the pool is not in use. Properly securing pool areas is an effective way to prevent people – especially kids – from entering water without supervision. Pool owners are legally responsible for securing pool areas. When a homeowner or business fails to provide adequate security and someone gets hurt as a result, it is advisable to discuss the situation with a lawyer.
If you would like to read more swimming safety tips from SKW, please visit this site of resources. If you would like to speak with a lawyer in regard to injuries your child sustained while swimming, please contact a representative at our firm who can help directly.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Representing Injured Individuals Since 1947
If you have questions about injuries your child sustained, please contact our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Galfand Berger. With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.