Megan Ball, Communications Intern
Drowning rates have decreased between 2005 and 2009. Great news! However, nearly 4,000 people still die from unintentional drowning every year and on average ten people a day die from unintentional drowning. So, who is at risk? Everyone!
- Males have a significantly higher drowning rate than females
- Children are at the greatest risk for unintentional drowning
- Drowning in natural water settings (lakes, ponds, and oceans) increase with age, while children are at greatest risk while swimming in pools
- Consuming alcohol while in water increase your risks. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) close to 70% of adult drowning deaths were associated with alcohol.
Although, we associate drowning with death, it is important to remember there is non-fatal drowning. Drowning is the suffocation resulting from filling of the lungs with water or other fluids. Non-fatal drowning can result in brain damage, disabilities, memory problems, learning disabilities, or loss of basic functions according to the CDC.
So what can you do to protect yourself and your loved ones?
- Stay alert. Keep distractions to a minimum and know which swimmers are weaker and need the extra attention.
- Sign up for Swim lessons.
- Have a plan. Make sure you educate everyone on water safety devices and their location along with the plan in case of emergency.
- Swim where you are comfortable. Make sure others do the same! If you feel uneasy, move to a different area or take a break from the waves and catch some rays on the shore for a bit! Your gut is giving you a sign!
Download our Swim App! Text “SWIM” to 90999 or search “Red Cross Swim” in your app store
Before you wish for your next opportunity to jump into the backyard pool or the lake up north, know your risks!