Drowning is a tragic and preventable occurrence that can happen to anyone, especially in swimming pools. It is estimated that there are over 360,000 deaths from drowning each year worldwide, making it the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths, and the fifth leading cause of death overall.
Common Causes of Swimming Pool Drownings
Swimming pools, whether private or public, are one of the most common places where drowning incidents occur, particularly among children under the age of five. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), drowning is responsible for more than half of all deaths of children aged 1-4 in some high-income countries.
There are various factors that contribute to drowning in a pool, including but not limited to:
- Lack of swimming ability: People who cannot swim are at a higher risk of drowning in a pool. Children and adults who are not confident in the water should be supervised and taught how to swim.
- Lack of supervision: Children should never be left unattended in or near a swimming pool, even for a few seconds. A responsible adult should always be present to supervise children, particularly those who cannot swim.
- Overconfidence: Some people, particularly teenagers, may overestimate their swimming abilities and take risks that could lead to drowning. It is important to be aware of your limitations and never swim alone.
- Alcohol and drugs: Swimming while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can impair judgment, coordination, and reaction time, making it more difficult to swim and increasing the risk of drowning.
- Lack of barriers: Pools should be surrounded by a fence or barrier to prevent children from accessing the pool without supervision. The fence or barrier should be at least 4 feet high and have a self-latching gate.
- Poor maintenance: A poorly maintained pool can be dangerous. Broken or missing drain covers, inadequate lighting, and slippery surfaces can increase the risk of drowning.
Drowning is a serious risk that can occur in any swimming pool. It is important to take precautions to prevent drowning, including ensuring that all children and adults are confident in the water, always supervising children around the pool, never swimming alone, avoiding alcohol and drugs when swimming, installing a fence or barrier around the pool, and maintaining the pool properly. By being vigilant and taking these precautions, we can help prevent drowning incidents and keep ourselves and our loved ones safe in and around swimming pools.We love water activities in South Carolina—and so do the millions of vacationers who come to our fine state every year. Even people who can’t swim—and this includes young children, who are the most common victims of drownings—are entitled to an expectation of safety when there are lifeguards, fences, life jackets, and other safety measures in place. However, when these safeguards fail, and someone is injured as a result, the negligent party can and should be held liable for the harm they have caused. In South Carolina, there is no stronger advocate for drowning and near-drowning victims than Pracht Injury Lawyers.