In warm weather, a lot of outdoor activities will include waterfront areas like the lake or beach. A dunk in the local water feature is refreshing, but puts many, especially children, at risk for injuries; of these, drowning is one of the most tragic.
Among those 14 years old and under, drowning is the second most common cause of injury-related death (car accidents are first). More than 800 kids die due to drowning mishaps every year, and thousands more sustain nonfatal injuries, sometimes involving significant brain damage.
WHAT PUTS YOU AT RISK FOR DROWNING
There are a number of factors which increase the risk of drowning. They include:
Poor swimming ability: Simply put, if you can’t swim, your chances of drowning increase.
Poor supervision: Drowning can happen relatively quickly and without a lot of noise. Even the presence of lifeguards may not save you on the beach, and unsupervised small children could die even in the bathtub.
Location: Although home swimming pools are the most likely places that young children drown, most adult drowning events occur in natural, boating, or wilderness settings.
Lack of Barriers: Pool fences that separate the pool from the yard reduces a child’s risk of drowning by 83%.
Lack of Life Jackets: 88% of boating deaths by drowning involve people who weren’t wearing life vests.