Why Drowning Is More Likely in Certain Locations: Are You At Risk?

Every day ten people die in unintentional drowning accidents and, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States.

Although drowning can happen anywhere and to anyone, a new study shows that drowning may be more likely in certain locations than others. According to a new study out of Canada, people in rural areas are nearly three times more likely to drown than those who live in cities. According to the study’s researchers, the increased risk may be because rural residents are more likely to be around open water and less likely to have taken swimming lessons.

Drowning Risk Factors

Some of the main risk factors associated with drowning accidents include:

  • Lack of Swimming Ability: According to the CDC, research shows that formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning among children aged 1 to 4 years.
  • Lack of Barriers: Barriers, such as pool fencing, prevent young children from gaining access to the pool area without the knowledge of an adult. According to the CDC, a four-sided fence reduces a child’s risk of drowning 83% compared to three-sided property-line fencing.
  • Lack of Close Supervision: Drowning can happen in a matter of seconds, and anywhere there is water, including bathtubs, swimming pools, kiddie pools, and beaches and even in the presence of lifeguards.
  • Location: Most young children ages 1-4 drown in home swimming pools, whereas more than half of drowning deaths among people 15 and older happen in open water.
  • Failure to Wear Life Jackets: The CDC reports that most boating deaths (72%) that occurred during 2010 were caused by drowning, with 88% of victims not wearing life jackets.
  • Alcohol Use: According to the CDC, alcohol use is involved in up to 70% of water-related deaths and about one in five reported boating deaths among adolescents and adults.
  • Seizure Disorders: Drowning is the most common cause of unintentional injury death for individuals with seizure disorders, with bathtubs as the highest drowning risk.

Protect Yourself and Others

There are several things that you can do to protect yourself and others from drowning, including:

  • Supervise children whenever they are in or around water, including bathtubs, swimming pools, or the beach.
  • Always swim with another person and, when possible, choose swimming locations that have lifeguards present.
  • Learn to swim.
  • Learn CPR and other first aid skills.
  • Do not rely on toys – such as inner-tubes, water wings, noodles, and other foam or air-filled toys – as safety devices.
  • Install four-sided fencing that is at least 4 feet high and use self-closing and self-latching gates.
  • Keep the pool area clear of toys and other obstructions.
  • Avoid alcohol when swimming, boating, or around water.

The Chicago wrongful death attorneys at Cogan & Power have the compassion, skill, knowledge, and experience you need when you have lost a loved one in a drowning accident. Our Chicago drowning accident attorneys will listen to your concerns, conduct a comprehensive factual investigation of the accident, and analyze all possible legal claims against all possible defendants.

If you have lost a loved one in a fatal drowning accident, contact the Chicago wrongful death lawyers at Cogan & Power at (312) 477-2500 to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible wrongful death claim.  Because we take cases on a contingency basis, you will not pay any fee unless we get you compensation.