Information available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that there are approximately 4,000 fatal unintentional drownings and 8,000 non-fatal drownings that occur each year across the country. While individuals of any age range are susceptible to drowning incidents, there are certain age ranges more at risk than others. Particularly, children aged 1 through 14 face the most risks of any other age group. If your family experiences an incident, call our Houston drowning accident lawyer.
Children Ages 1 to 4 are at the Highest Risk of Drowning
CDC data indicates that children aged 1 to 4 are more at risk of drowning than any other cause of death for that age range. Additionally, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death for children ages 5 through 14, only after motor vehicle accidents.
Other Demographic Factors to Understand
There are certainly other demographics that individuals need to understand related to drowning. Yes, children ages 1 through 4 have the highest rates of drowning, and most of these drownings happen in swimming pools.
However, we should also look directly at males because approximately 80% of all individuals who die from drowning are male. There are various factors that contribute to the higher rate of drowning among males, including excessive risk-taking behaviors, alcohol intake at older ages, and increased exposure to water.
Drowning rates are also higher for Native Americans and Alaskan natives aged 29 and younger. These individual ethnic groups are two times more likely to experience a drowning than white individuals. Drowning rates for people of color are 1.5 higher than the drowning rates for white individuals. The CDC states that Black children aged 10 through 14 drown at a 7.6 times higher rate than white children, and they are more likely to drown in public pools.
Finally, individuals with various seizure disorders or other medical conditions are also at higher risk of fatal and non-fatal drownings than the general population.
Keep Your Children Safe Around the Water
We strongly encourage families to remain vigilant around children when there are bodies of water nearby. One of the leading factors that contribute to drowning is adults and children who enter the water when they cannot swim, or they are weak swimmers. If you know that you or your children will be around water regularly, we strongly encourage you to participate in formal swimming lessons, as this can reduce the risk of drowning amongst even younger children.
Additionally, if there is a body of water without a fence around it, remain extra vigilant when you have children around. All residential, public, and private pools should have appropriate fencing with gates that latch in order to keep children away from the water. If you experienced an incident due to improper fencing, call our Houston premises liability lawyer.
Life jackets can also prevent drowning during water activities, particularly when swimming or boating in open water. The CDC states that the US Coast Guard reported 658 boating-related deaths in 2021. 81% of these individuals died by drowning, and 83% of those individuals did not have life jackets on.
Finally, and this is not necessarily a major factor for younger children, alcohol should be used sparingly or not at all when operating around water. Amongst adolescents and adults, alcohol use was involved in up to 70% of deaths associated with boating and swimming, nearly 25% of emergency department visits for drowning, and around 20% of reported boating deaths, according to the CDC.