According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), each day about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these ten, two are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning is ranked 5th among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States and can happen in any pool such as residential, portable pools, the neighborhood pool, the pool at the gym, hotels, water parks, and other facilities.
Swimming Pool Injuries
Over 50% of drowning and submersion victims treated in emergency rooms require hospitalization or transfer for further care, which is astounding when compared the hospitalization rate of just 6% for all other unintentional injuries. These nonfatal drowning injuries can cause severe brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning or a permanent vegetative state.
Drowning and Submersion Facts
The conclusions of numerous studies show the dire connection between pools and drowning or submersion. A few include:
- Fatal drowning remains the second leading cause of unintentional injury related death for children aged one to 14 years.
- From 2005-2009, there was an average drowning of 3,533 people per year in non-boat related accidents. An additional 347 people per year drowned from boating related submersions.
- For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.
- Nearly 80% of those who die in a drowning are male.
- Children ages one to four have the highest drowning rates.
- The fatal unintentional drowning rate for African Americans was significantly higher than that of whites across all ages.
Causes of Swimming Pool Accidents and Head Injuries
Many factors surround the incidence of drowning, submersion, and other injuries. However, two that make a huge difference include:
- Fencing – Given that those who die in swimming pool accidents are children, having a proper and locking fence to keep them out is vital to preventing swimming pool accidents.
- Swimming lessons – Lack of ability to swim properly also accounts for many cases of drowning and submersion. One of the most famous was when Joe Delaney, a running back with the Kansas City Chiefs, drowned to death in 1981. A makeshift pool created from construction drew the attention of some kids, and when Delaney – who couldn't swim well – went in to save them, he drowned himself.
Both state and federal laws regulate the safety of swimming pools and their equipment which must be observed by manufacturers, sellers, and installers of pools and spas. If you or a loved one experienced swimming pool accident or head injury, you may be entitled to compensation for current and future expenses, in addition to legal damages. Contact an attorney as soon as possible to determine your options.