Drowning or near-drowning accidents are tragically common. Near-drowning is the term to describe when a person suffocates from water, but is able to be revived. Near-drowning can be fatal later without medical attention, and can cause other complications as well. Learn the most common causes of drowning and near-drowning accidents and how to prevent them.
Inability to swim
- Young children may not be adequate swimmers or older people may never have learned to swim, but they may find their way into the water regardless. Many people are not strong enough swimmers to swim without safety devices. If a poor swimmer gets into trouble in the water, they may not be able to remain above water until help arrives, and can risk drowning.
Panic in the water
- In busy water, it can be easy to miss a distressed swimmer. Wave pools, oceans, or other busy bodies of water can hide floundering or other signs of a swimmer who needs help.
- Children should always be supervised by a responsible adult when near water. Even a moment of distraction is enough for a child to slip under water and drown. Leaving children unattended near water can lead to an accident.
- Leaving small children unattended at the pool may seem like an obvious mistake, but leaving them alone in a bath for even a moment can also have tragic results. Stay in the room until the child is safely out of the tub, and the water has been drained.
Falling through ice
- Many drowning accidents happen over summer, but falling through ice can be a dangerous winter hazard. Falling through ice can lead to drowning, as well as hypothermia. Be cautious when around frozen lakes or rivers, and never go out on ice without another person present.
- Alcohol and water don’t mix well. Swimming or boating while intoxicated can cause accidents. Your reflexes and judgement are impaired, and you may fall overboard or pass out while in the water.
Concussions, seizures, or heart attacks
- Some accidents are difficult to prevent. If a person suffers a heart attack or seizure in the water, there can be little warning to rescue them. Concussions can be avoided by restricting diving and jumping in the water, running near the pool, and other horseplay. Supervising swimmers and taking a basic first aid course can help in the event of an emergency. Quick response is key in these situations.
- Sadly, suicide is another cause of drowning or near-drowning. It can be hard to prevent someone who is determined to commit suicide, but you can watch for signs of suicidal thoughts, try to talk to depressed individuals, and get others involved, such as counselors, family, friends, or mentors that the individual relies on.
How to Prevent Drowning Accidents
It is a common belief that you are safe in water so long as you are larger than the body of water. This isn’t true, though. It is possible to drown in a few inches of water. You can help prevent accidents with your actions, however. Taking CPR classes can prepare you to administer the life-saving procedure in the event of a near-drowning until help arrives. There are other ways you can reduce the risk of accidents, such as:
- Avoiding flooded roads
- Walking near pools or other bodies of water, and requiring your loved ones to do the same
- Avoiding alcohol while swimming or boating
- Taking a water safety course
- Fencing your pool
- Supervising swimmers, especially children
- Safely storing pool toys out of the pool once done with them, to prevent children from trying to play with them unsupervised
- Supervising children in baths
- Keeping children away from canals, creeks, wells, and other water features
- Emptying and turning over kiddie pools
- Installing door or window alarms if you live near water, or installing gate alarms on pool gates
- Keeping rescue materials, such as floats, and a cell phone nearby when swimming
- Keeping toilet bowl covers down or bathroom doors closed
Drowning or near-drowning accidents can happen quickly. Preparation can allow you to act quickly and possibly save a life, but taking steps to prevent accidents can help your family avoid the risks.
If you have lost a loved one to a drowning accident, or have complications from a near-drowning accident, it is possible that you may be entitled to compensation. Our Denver personal injury Lawyers can help you determine if someone’s negligence or careless actions caused your accident. Contact Jordan, Herington & Rowley today to schedule a free case consultation.