Drowning is considered the leading cause of unintentional death for children between one and four nationwide. According to the USA Swimming Foundation, 80% of the drowning deaths in Florida were children under five.
After Florida at the number one spot in the nation, Arizona, and Texas had 25 fatal drownings each, California had 20, and Georgia had 12. Nationwide, there were 269 media reported fatal drownings in 2017.
Florida Child Drowning Numbers Rising
The fatal child drownings in Florida in 2017 were 20 percent more than they were in 2016 when there were 40 child drownings in the state. This statistic is alarming. Water and pool safety should be a top priority for parents, especially living in an area where there is so much access to different types of bodies of water.
How to Know if Someone is Drowning
Here are some of the ways that you can tell if someone is struggling in the water.
- 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.
How to Decrease the Chances of a Fatal Drowning
According to the USA Swimming Foundation, formal swimming lessons can reduce the likelihood of drowning by 88 percent. But, there are also other things that you can do to keep your kids safe around water.
- Never leave your children unsupervised around water. Always make sure that there is adult supervision, and that the person watching is not distracted by a book or smartphone.
- Educate your children on the dangers of drains and pipes, and make sure that they are not swimming near these areas where they can be sucked under water.
- Learn how to swim if you are not a strong swimmer or did not take form lessons.
- Take a CPR course for adults and children.
- Ensure that pools are properly secured with a fence and/or cover so that children cannot wander into the pool area unintentionally.
Pool and water safety is a very important issue, especially here in Florida. Avoiding an unintentional death due to drowning should be a top priority for parents living in or visiting the state.
If a death occurs due to the negligence of someone else, there may be enough for a wrongful death case. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to help you determine if negligence led to the serious injury or death of a loved one.
Cohen, H. (n.d.). Florida lost more children to drowning than any state – Here’s how to change that. Retrieved January 23, 2018, from http://miamiherald.com/news/state/florida/article193776489.html
(2017, August 17). Florida’s July Drowning Fatalities remind us to be Vigilant Around Water | Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. Retrieved January 23, 2018, from https://panterlaw.com/2017/08/21/floridas-july-drowning-fatalities-remind-us-vigilant-around-water/