Drowning accidents occur far too often, not only in Florida but also the United States. Making matters even worse is that many of them involve children. Oftentimes, drownings are completely preventable, occurring because of a lack of supervision, or some other type of negligence.
If you’ve lost a loved one in this sort of tragedy, the attorneys with The Eberst Law Firm may be able to help. Our team of legal representatives has a great deal of experience representing clients, and has achieved a long track record of success. Take advantage of our knowledge by scheduling a free consultation. You can contact us online, or you can give us a call at 1-888-CALL-JON.
Here are six statistics on drownings in Florida and across the nation that you might find surprising.
1. In 2021, there were 98 deaths from child drownings in Florida
This is up from 69 in 2020. There were 24 child drowning deaths in the Tampa Bay area alone.
What led to this increase in tragedies? Some think that the pandemic had something to do with it. More parents were working from home due to office shutdowns, and children were at home as well. A busy parent who’s involved with a work project, or participating in a videoconference, may not be able to keep as close an eye on their children. That can result in a child entering a pool without any supervision.
2. Florida loses more children under 5 to drowning than any other state
Nothing is worse than a young child passing away. Tragically, our state leads the nation in drownings involving children 5 years of age and younger. In fact, children 3 and younger typically account for the vast majority of drownings.
Many of these deaths occur when a child is able to get out of the house without anyone knowing it, or are left outside without anyone watching them. While this type of accident usually occurs in a swimming pool, it can happen in any type of water, such as the Gulf of Mexico or a local river or pond. There are even reports of children drowning in bathtubs.
3. Every year, there are approximately 3,960 fatal unintentional drownings in the United States
About 80% of all drowning deaths are males. Experts believe this is the case because men tend to take more risks, and also tend to drink more alcohol when near a body of water, such as when they’re on a boat.
But drowning death rates are also higher among non-Whites than Whites. Research indicates that Black people are nearly twice as likely to die in a drowning accident than White people. This is especially the case with children. Black children between the ages of 5-9 die at nearly three times the rate of White children. Those between the ages of 10-14 are nearly four times more likely to drown.
4. Children are at the highest risk for unintentional drowning
As you might expect, children face a much higher risk of dying than adults. This is the case for several different reasons, including the following.
- Lack of proper fencing. A four-sided fence that separates a pool from a home can reduce the risk of a child drowning by as much as 83% when compared to a three-sided fence.
- Lack of supervision. When a child isn’t properly supervised, they can drown extremely quickly. This will be the case not only in a pool, but also the ocean, a lake, or even a tub.
- Location. While a drowning can take place in just about any location, the risk depends on the victim’s age. For example, two-thirds of drownings involving infants under a year old take place in bathtubs. Most drownings involving children between the ages of 1-4 take place in swimming pools. Older children and adults will typically drown in a natural body of water, such as a lake or the ocean.
- Not following safety procedures. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, there were 613 boating-related fatalities in 2019. The vast majority of those deaths – 79% – were due to drowning. Of those who died by drowning, 86% of them weren’t wearing a life jacket.
5. More than 40% of drownings treated in emergency rooms require hospitalization
There’s really no such thing as a “minor” near-drowning accident. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Control reports that more than 40% of drownings that required a trip to the emergency room eventually led to hospitalization. Compare that to only 8% of other injuries that required a victim to be admitted to a hospital.
6. Drowning injuries can cause serious injuries such as brain damage and long-term disability
Why is this the case? A near-drowning incident can have a devastating impact on a victim. Since the body can’t get oxygen, that leaves the brain and other organs susceptible to a great deal of damage.
There are a lot of potential consequences that can come with a lack of oxygen. A victim could suffer permanent brain damage. Those who also inhale substances while underwater could develop pneumonia, or suffer some other type of respiratory distress. This could result in the victim finding it difficult to breathe for an extended period of time.
Contact Eberst Law Firm ASAP After a Drowning Accident
The experience of nearly drowning, or losing a loved one in a drowning accident, is horrifying. In many instances, some sort of negligence is to blame. It could be a public pool that failed to have a lifeguard on duty, or someone operating a boat while impaired, causing an accident that leads to a tragedy.
The attorneys with The Eberst Law Firm will be ready to help if you or a loved one has been forced to endure the incredible suffering that can come with a drowning or near-drowning. We can perform an investigation into the accident, uncovering the evidence needed to prove that a victim is entitled to full and fair compensation.