A look at the troubling trend of accidental drownings

Discover some chilling statistics about accidental drownings. Get advice on how to prevent drownings in your own pool.

Accidental drownings are a major issue in North Carolina and every other state in the country. They can occur in an instant and happen to not only children but people of all ages. It is a trend that is deeply disturbing yet quite preventable. It just takes more attention to, focus on and knowledge about pool safety to stop these deaths.

National statistical information

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that children under the age of 14 account for one in five drownings that occur. A total of 3,536 deaths due to drowning occurred from 2005-2014. This didn't include the 332 deaths occurring due to boating accident drownings. The number of accidental drowning fatalities per day is about 10.

While children are the most at risk, it is those under the age of four who are at the highest risk of accidentally drowning. It is actually the second leading cause of death for this age group. African Americans are also more likely to be victims, along with males, who make up about 80 percent of all fatalities.

Most drownings occur because there is no supervision or not adequate supervision in the pool area or there are a lack of safety measures in place to prevent children from accidentally getting into the water. In addition, a lack of swimming skills also increases the chances of drowning. Alcohol use, health issues, such as seizures, and not wearing life jackets also contribute to drowning deaths.

North Carolina statistics

The News & Observer reported from 2008-2012, there were 138 deaths due to drowning of children under the age of 18. This breaks down to a total of around 29 deaths per year. The majority of these children were under the age of five. Most accidents occurred in pools with the worst month being June. However, ponds, rivers, lakes and streams also claimed victims and the months of April through August were when drownings most often occurred.

The state has a task force assigned to preventing such accidents. This task force reviews data and makes recommendations for laws and policies to help keep people safer around water. The main consensus is the top way to prevent drownings is through educating the public and making them aware of water safety.

Prevention tips

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services offers some great tips for keeping safe around water. It starts with proper supervision of children when they are playing in or around water. Not using pool toys as floatation devices is also recommended. Floaties and water wings are not adequate to prevent a drowning and may actually hinder a child in the water. Everyone should learn to swim. It is also advised to never swim alone and for pool owners and parents to learn CPR.

The water feels amazing on a hot day, but it can be quite dangerous. Accidental drownings, especially for children, are a serious issue that require everybody's attention. Practicing safety around water can prevent these tragic deaths. For more information about what to do after an accidental drowning on your property, contact The Law Offices of Wallace & Graham.