Summer is the time of year for backyard fun, pool parties and trips to the water park. Unfortunately, many children are at risk for drowning. A drowning or near drowning can occur in just a few minutes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children ages one through four. In fact, about 10 children per day die from drowning in the United States.
How Does Drowning Occur?
Drowning happens when the body is deprived of oxygen for a period of time. Generally, a person can only be underwater for a few minutes before harm occurs. The most significant problem that happens with drowning or near drowning is brain damage. Brain cells begin to die without oxygen. The lungs may also suffer serious harm as do other organs of the body. As soon as oxygen is restored the body can recover, however, damage to the brain is generally irreversible.
Near-drowning can also be dangerous. After almost drowning a victim may suffer from what is called “dry drowning” or secondary drowning. This can happen hours after the initial event and is an episode where excess water is still present in the lungs, which can keep a person from being able to breathe. Someone who almost drowns should be medically evaluated and also monitored closely to ensure that they remain safe.
Preventing a Drowning at your local Pool
Most drowning deaths in the United States occur in backyard swimming pools. There are some steps that pool owners and parents can take to minimize the risk of accidents in the pool. One of the most important considerations is to ensure that the pool has an adequate fence enclosing it along with a secure gate. Keep the gate locked at all times unless you are supervising pool activities.
Some drownings occur when children wander into the pool when they are unattended for just a few minutes. There are warning devices that you can install that will sound an alarm if someone gets into the water. If you have an above-ground pool always remove the ladder and keep it away from the pool area. Do not allow anyone to swim alone and make sure that you teach your children how to swim.
If you are at a public pool do not simply assume that the lifeguards will prevent a drowning. Always watch your children and do not allow them to go into the deep end unless they know how to swim. In some cases, the pool filtration system can be very strong and the suction of a drain can hold a young child underwater. Public pools are required to ensure that they are safe but as a parent, you need to be aware of the potential for problems.
If you or a loved one suffered a serious incident at a pool you may be entitled to compensation. If the accident happened due to negligence the negligent party is responsible. Contact The Bader Law Firm today to learn how we can help get you the money you need for your medical and other expenses.