With spring approaching, swimming season in Florida will be here soon. Swimming in pools, lakes and Florida’s many beaches is one of the most popular spring and summer activities, especially for children and teenagers. While it can be fun, it remains one of the most dangerous activities as well. Here are some statistics about swimming and drowning from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to keep in mind this spring before you and your family take to the water:
- There were 3,443 fatal drowning accidents (non-boating related) in 2007—averaging 10 deaths every day.
- Over 20% of fatal drowning victims are age 14 or younger.
- Nonfatal drowning accidents can cause severe and permanent brain damage.
- Almost 80% of drowning victims are male.
- Children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rate.
You should enroll your children in swim lessons while they are young to teach them the basic fundamentals of swimming. Natural water settings—lakes, rivers, oceans—have a higher drowning rate than swimming pools. Never let your children swim unsupervised. If you or your child cannot swim, never enter the water without a life jacket. If you have a medical condition, particularly a seizure disorder, never swim unattended and be sure to wear a life jacket. Also, do not swim if you have been consuming alcohol. This greatly increases your chance of personal injury or even death.
Wooten Kimbrough, P.A.—Orlando personal injury attorneys.