New Study Highlights Open Water Drowning Dangers

matt-hardy-562566-unsplash-1-copy-300x200If you live in Carlsbad and spend a significant amount of time at the beach with your family, it is important to carefully consider the risks of drowning accidents in open water. While drowning dangers certainly exist at home swimming pools, a new study addresses the growing risk of drowning in open water. An article in Today discusses the recent study conducted by Safe Kids Worldwide, which suggests that “families need to pay more attention to swimming safety—especially in open water.” According to the study, drowning rates in open water have increased, and parents need to take preventive measures to ensure their children’s safety.

Swimming Pool Drowning Accidents Decrease While Open Water Drowning Incidents Increase

The Safe Kids Worldwide study focuses on the fact that most drowning prevention education and outreach tends to highlight the dangers of swimming pools. Parents learn about the need to keep pools fenced so that children can not accidentally enter the pool without adult supervision, and the importance of always keeping an eye on any child who is swimming. This kind of outreach work, according to the study, has helped to reduce the rate of swimming pool drowning accidents across the country. At the same time, however, the rate of open water drowning accidents has risen.

According to Morag Mackay, the Safe Kids Worldwide director of research, “we used to hear a lot about kids drowning in pools and there has been a fair amount of work done in that area, and we have seen those drowning decrease.” Yet as Mackay emphasizes, “drownings in open water have increased.”

Approximately 43% of drowning accidents happen in open water, while only about 38% of drowning accidents occur in swimming pools. In 2016 alone, 1,000 kids died in drowning accidents, while near-drowning incidents resulted in more than 7,000 kids visiting emergency departments for medical treatment. Around 80% of kids who drown in open water are males between the ages of 15 and 19.

Getting the Facts About Kids and Drowning Risks

Whether you are staying in San Diego County this summer or taking a family vacation elsewhere, you should make sure to learn about all of the risks surrounding open water. When safety experts talk about drowning risks in open water, they are referring to all of the following locations where kids and families tend to swim:

  • Oceans;
  • Rivers;
  • Ponds;
  • Lakes;
  • Reservoirs;
  • Retention ponds; and
  • Quarries.

Why is swimming in open water so dangerous? As the study explains, learning to swim in open water is a lot different than learning to swim in a pool. Open water swimming areas often have dangers that pools do not have, including but not limited to the following:

  • Rocks and vegetation that can be slippery or cause wounds;
  • Distances that are difficult to judge;
  • Limited visibility;
  • Shifting currents that can be dangerous;
  • Limited to no visibility;
  • Stark differences in temperature; and
  • Often steep drop-offs.

If you take your family swimming in an open water area, poor swimmers should always keep life jackets on at all times, and you should only swim in designated areas where life guards are on duty.

Contact a Carlsbad Drowning Accident Lawyer

If your child or someone you love recently suffered injuries in a drowning accident, you may be able to file a claim for compensation. A dedicated Carlsbad drowning accident attorney can help with your case. Contact the Walton Law Firm today to learn more about how we can assist you.

See Related Blog Posts:

Oceanside Residents and the Pool Safety Act

California Hotel Liability and Swimming Pool Accidents

(image courtesy of Matt Hardy)

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