Nobody in Oceanside likes to think about the possibility of a serious drowning accident in which a child suffers serious or fatal injuries. However, drowning accidents happen with some frequency—especially in Southern California—and it is important for parents to be aware of the risks. Indeed, according to a recent article in the Patch, officials have identified an “alarming spike in juvenile drownings this year” in Southern California, which led to a “public health warning urging families to exercise caution with youth and water.” We are only three months into 2018, and so far four children have died as a result of drowning accidents in the state. To put that number in perspective, four children died in total from drowning incidents in 2017.
Dangers of Backyard Pools in Oceanside
Whether you have a young child or a teenager, it is important to learn more about the risks of drowning, especially if you have a backyard pool. Many preventable drowning incidents happen at home. As the article explains, a child in Riverside County recently died from drowning after riding a toy car into his own backyard pool. The parents thought the toddler was inside the house, only to find him in the family pool after it was too late to resuscitate him. Similarly, a 9-year-old child at a nearby home died after falling into a family pool to retrieve a tennis ball. Nobody at the house found her until 15 minutes after she had drowned.
In response to the high rate of drowning incidents this year, the Riverside University Health System issued a news release designed to warn parents in California about the serious risks of drowning and the importance of being vigilant: “Cases such as these demonstrate how important it is to monitor children anytime they are near any body of water, whether it is a backyard pool, an outdoor sauna, or an indoor bathtub.”
Notably, none of the child drowning deaths reported this year in Southern California have occurred while the child was swimming. Rather, the incidents occurred accidentally while each child was out of the eyesight of parents or other family members.
Getting the Facts About Child Drowning Incidents
How common are child drowning incidents? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are more than 3,500 drowning deaths, on average, each year in the country. Approximately 20 percent of those drowning fatalities are children who are under the age of 15. As the CDC points out, “for every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.”
Even when drownings are not fatal, about 50% of them require that the patient be hospitalized for additional care. A drowning incident, even if it does not result in the death of the child, can cause significant brain damage, which can affect the child’s memory, learning ability, and even basic functioning.
To prevent drowning accidents, the CDC recommends that anyone with a pool at home install four-sided fencing that is at least four feet high, and to use self-closing and self-latching gates to keep children out unless an adult is present. There are also other types of barriers that can prevent kids from getting into a swimming pool when a parent is not present. To remove a child’s desire to enter the pool without an adult, it is important to keep pool toys stored away from the pool itself.
Contact an Oceanside Drowning Accident Lawyer
Spring is here, and more families are using their pools. If you have questions about pool safety or need help with a drowning accident case, an experienced Oceanside drowning accident lawyer can assist you. Contact the Walton Law Firm today.
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(image courtesy of joey banks)