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Unintentional and Secondary Drowning

Steve Wagner

According to the CDC, unintentional drowning ranks 5th on the list for causes of injury and death in the United States. Each summer, 3,533 people die as a result of unintentional drowning, averaging out to 10 deaths per day. These numbers do not include additional drowning deaths caused by boating accidents.

One in five of these deaths occur in children age 14 and under. Many of these deaths can occur from what is known as secondary drowning. The signs for secondary drowning can be minimal, allowing parents and guardians to believe everything is okay and their children are fine after what seemed like a near-drowning incident. In incidents like this, water can get in the lungs, often not causing issues until hours later.

As we have found out, drowning can often seem invisible, with no blatant signs. Often times, drowning victims slide under the water without the typical thrashing and screaming we often see in the movies. So this summer, keep your eyes open. Silence is often a bad sign, and if your child does encounter a near drowning incident, or any situation where they have inhaled water, take them to the E.R. to get examined.

Here are a few tips to help keep you and your children safe while swimming this summer:

  • Keep flotation devices on anyone who does not have excellent swimming skills, especially children.
  • Be diligent to watch while there are people in the water. If you are on the sidelines, keep your eyes open for anyone who slips under the water, or anyone who appears to be struggling.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while in the water as it will impair your judgment and swimming abilities.
  • Remember to take frequent rests and drink plenty of fluids so you can avoid any heat injuries and fatigue.

For a full list of tips and what to watch out for in potential drowning situations, you can visit the CDC’s website regarding water injuries.

If you or a loved one have been involved in a swimming accident, the personal injury attorneys at Wagner Reese are here to help you. Give us a call today at (888) 204-8440 to schedule your free consultation.


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