As summer season is back, water related injuries and deaths are starting to increase. In New York, the underwater currents at Rockaway Beach are known to be dangerous and ever year people are seriously injured or died after drowning in the water at this location. This year on May 22nd, 24 year old Fidel Ramirez, went for a swim at Beach 91st street despite recommendations from Mayor de Blasio not to go in the water and drowned. He suffered critical drowning injuries and died at the hospital.
Backyard pools might seem safer than the Rockaway beach especially with the actual Covid-19 pandemic, however they can be dangerous as well. Last Sunday 3 people died from drowning in a backyard pool in New Jersey.
Behind car accidents, drowning is the second cause of unintentional injury-related death for children from 1 to 14 year old
The CDC evaluates that every day in the US, 10 people die from unintentional drowning. Among them 2 of them are children from 1 to 14 year old. African American children have a 5.5 higher risk of drowning compared to Caucasian children. For every child that dies from drowning, five others are transported to the ER for non fatal submersion injuries. Non fatal drowning injuries are often serious with 50% of them requiring hospitalization. They can cause severe brain damage that may result in the worst case in permanent vegetative state.
The main factors in drowning accidents are:
- a lack of swimming ability
- lack of barriers such as backyard pool fencing
- lack of close supervision
- not wearing a life jacket
- alcohol use
- seizure disorders.
Drowning injuries and deaths prevention
Swimming lessons for children have proven to be helpful in reducing the risk of drowning. In New York City, NYC Parks offer free swimming classes for all children bellow 18 year old. Program may change this summer season because of the pandemic. Bystanders who performed CPR on drowning victims have saved lives. If you have a backyard pool or if you are going to the beach regularly, you might consider learning CPR. Life jackets especially when boating, prevent drowning. They can be especially important when people are drinking on the boat. When going to the beach with children, one adult should always be designated as the close supervisor of the children. Swimming with a buddy reduces the risk of drowning as well. People with seizure disorders should be supervised and should wear a life jacket while on a boat.They should also consider taking a shower instead of jumping in the pool. Avoid swimming if you are drunk.