Every day, an average of ten people die from unintentional drowning in the United States. That’s more than 3,500 people a year. For for every ten who die, two are children under the age of 14. Drowning ranks as the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death in America.
In Los Angeles, we have better statistics, but accidental drowning remains a serious concern, and when these incidents take place, they affect not only the victim, but their families, friends, and the first responders who attempt to save them.
The most important thing to remember is that unintentional drowning is a silent affair. People drown in pools in which other people are swimming. Parents may be sitting poolside and not notice that someone has gone “missing” without a scream, a splash, or any other audible evidence of trouble.
Watch this Public Service Announcement produced by California Fire Prevention Organization that explains the importance of being vigilant and properly prepared whenever there are people and water in the same place.
The best ways to avoid a drowning incident involve two key elements: Make sure those who go into the water have an opportunity to learn how to swim. And for everyone near a body of water, learn CPR. We assume only children don’t know how to swim, but statistics show that generally speaking, younger swimmers have greater ability in the water than older adults. You can learn at any age – six months or eighty years of age. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offers some excellent tips about drowning.
Learning CPR is a fast, easy, and lifesaving ability. Multiple studies have demonstrated that when CPR is started quickly on someone recovered from water, there is a greater chance for a positive outcome. This video will help you understand how easy it is to learn CPR.