Young Children at Highest Risk of Drowning in Bathtubs, Swimming Pools

With summer just around the corner, it’s good to know that nationwide, the rate of overall drowning deaths has decreased. But one age group has seen an increase in drowning deaths. It’s important to note that other age groups are still at risk.

In general, drowning deaths have dropped by 9 percent. But for adults ages 45 to 84, the number of deaths has increased by 9.7 percent. Researchers point out that children younger than 5 are still at a high risk, but so are adults ages 85 and up.

Between the years 1999 and 2010, unintentional drowning accounted for more than 46,000 deaths. This includes swimming and boating accidents. The age group with the fewest deaths is 5- and 19-year-olds. It’s believed that knowing how to swim is a contributing factor. Knowing how to swim is just one of the factors that may decrease the likelihood of drowning.

Children aged one to four are the highest risk because of their lack of swimming ability. But that isn’t the only factor. Many times it’s a failure to supervise children that leads to their deaths. Supervision falls under a parent’s responsibilities but can include babysitters and other caregivers.

Location appears to affect certain age groups. Drowning deaths involving children younger than one year old most often occur in bathtubs. Children between the ages of one and four are more likely to drown in swimming pools. In fact, most drowning deaths occur in pools and on private property. Children who are five years and older have a greater likelihood of drowning in a natural water setting, such as a river or lake.

The best protection for children is supervision. This applies to all water settings, whether it’s a bucket of water, a tub or the neighbor’s pool. And when taking children to a public facility, make sure facilities have certified lifeguards. At the same time, adults in charge of children shouldn’t rely just on them for proper supervision.

If you believe a lack of supervision caused a child’s drowning, it may warrant a claim. There are other circumstances where liability could apply. The best thing is to seek legal advice right away. Gacovino, Lake & Associates has experience with drowning deaths. Call us for a free consultation: (800) 550-0000.

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