Anytime you’re near a body of water, you face the risk of drowning. Keeping that sobering fact in mind is extremely important, especially in the summer when many Oklahomans spend their days at the pool or on the lake.
Drowning can happen to anyone, regardless of age, swimming ability, and overall health. And in many cases, drowning happens quickly and silently. Victims may appear to be treading water, only to suddenly become submerged.
The best way to save victims from drowning is to reduce the risks of it happening in the first place as much as possible. And the best way to do that is to be aware of the five most common risk factors for drowning.
Impairment or Intoxication
People who have recently taken drugs or alcohol are at a higher risk of drowning when in or near water than sober people. According to the CDC, around 70% of water recreation deaths and one in four emergency department visits for near-drownings are associated with alcohol consumption.
Alcohol and many other drugs impair balance, coordination, and judgment while making users more likely to engage in risky behaviors. These factors can combine to make drowning more likely.
Not Being Able to Swim
Although even strong swimmers can drown, people who are weak swimmers or who can’t swim at all face a much higher risk of drowning. They may be unable to tread water or keep their heads above water, which can require immediate rescue.
Children should always be supervised when swimming, but even adults should swim in the company of others. Sudden cramps or other health problems can debilitate even strong swimmers, and if they’re alone in the water when they experience those emergencies, they may be unable to get out before it’s too late.
Lack of Life Jackets and Rescue Devices
When you’re enjoying a day on the lake, having enough life jackets for everyone on your boat is a must. Anytime someone gets in the water or on a tube, wakeboard, or skis, they should wear a life jacket. You should also have a throwable flotation device handy. Without these essential pieces of safety gear, drowning becomes a much greater risk for anyone who spends time in the water.
Being Under the Age of 4
Children between the ages of 1-4 years old have the highest drowning rates of anyone in America. Infants are most likely to drown in bathtubs, while older children are more likely to drown in swimming pools. Many children drown in pools without their parents or other adults around, especially when they have access to pools at home or in their neighborhoods that aren’t properly fenced in.
We Help the Families of Drowning Victims Get Compensation
Sometimes, people drown because of the negligence of others. Children may fall into pools that don’t have locked gates or entrances, and adults may be onboard boats that aren’t equipped with required flotation devices. Whatever the case may be, when drowning is caused by another person’s or party’s negligence, it’s our goal to help the family get maximum compensation.
If you lost a loved one in a drowning incident, our Oklahoma City wrongful death lawyers want to help. Contact Parrish DeVaughn Law Firm today for a free consultation. We’ll review the facts of what happened, collect evidence to prove your loved one’s death was the result of negligence, and fight to get you every penny you deserve.