Swimming pools can provide hours of outdoor recreation in the summer months, but they can also pose serious dangers and can lead to severe personal injuries. A recent story from ABC News New York reported that sadly enough, a 2-year-old girl died from injuries she sustained after falling into her grandparents’ swimming pool.
Unfortunately, tragedies such as this one occur all too frequently in the summer months and it is essential for all parents and caregivers to be aware of the serious dangers swimming pools present to children. Adults must do their part to ensure that children never have easy access to pools and that children are never left unattended near or in a pool. When kids are left unsupervised in a swimming pool, in particular, toddlers and older children who cannot swim- drowning may occur.
Unintentional Drowning Facts and Statistics
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), unintentional drowning results in approximately ten deaths per day in the United States. Annually, that is approximately 3,500 deaths, and that figure does not even include fatal injuries that result from boating-related accidents.
About 20 percent of those fatalities involve children under the age of 15 years old. Why are children particularly susceptible to unintentional drowning accidents? Many are not strong swimmers, and a majority of children who sustain fatal injuries have been left unsupervised around water.
Based on the CDC’s statistics, 2 children drown each day in the US. Five times that number of children require medical attention for nonfatal drowning injuries. The CDC explains that, “for every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.” Even nonfatal drowning accidents can result in catastrophic injuries, particularly in the event of severe head trauma. In fact, according to the CDC, traumatic brain injuries caused by a nonfatal drowning can result in long-term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning.
- Are some people at higher risk of a drowning accident than others? The CDC identifies the following groups as more likely to suffer serious or fatal injuries in a drowning accident:
- Males: approximately 80 percent of all fatal drowning victims are male.
- Children: kids at the highest risk of a drowning fatality are those between the ages of 1 and 4 years old. Within that age group, the majority of these fatal drowning accidents occur in home swimming pools.
- Minorities: based on data collected from 2005-2009, African American children between the ages of 5 and 14 years old had one of the highest reported rates of fatal unintentional drowning. Indeed, African American children aged 5-19 “drown in swimming pools at rates 5.5 times higher than those of whites.” Racial disparities in drowning statistics, according to the CDC, may result from factors like access to swimming pools and access to the opportunity to learn to swim.
Understand Your Legal Rights:
Has your child suffered an injury as a result of lack of supervision near or in a pool? Or, has your child wandered into a neighbor’s pool that lacked a fence or gate around the pool? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you may be eligible for compensation for your child’s injuries. You should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to learn more about your rights.