After more than a year in lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic, children and families across Louisiana are looking forward to getting outside, soaking in some sun, and enjoying water activities. It’s no secret that Louisiana has its fair share of swimming pools, lakes, beaches, and rivers, but what you may not know is the importance of water safety.
Drowning Accident Statistics
A recent press release from the Louisiana Department of Health revealed that 2020 was the deadliest year for child drownings after five consecutive years of decreasing numbers. Shockingly, there was a 60% increase in drownings for children ages 0 to 14 years old, compared to the year prior.
Additionally, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that:
- Most drownings in Louisiana occur in warmer months and among children aged 1-4.
- Between 2017 and 2019, Louisiana had the fourth-highest drowning rate in the U.S. for children aged 1-14.
- Drowning remains the third-leading cause of death for children aged 1-14.
How to Swim Safely
With the warm months underway, water safety remains a top priority. The Louisiana Department of Health and other safety organizations provide several steps that parents, guardians, and caregivers should take in order to reduce the risk of unintentional drowning:
- Supervise children at all times when they are in or around water.
- Avoid getting distracted or consuming alcohol while supervising children in the water.
- Teach children how to swim early. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children begin learning to swim between the ages of 1 and 4.
- If you own a pool or spa, install protection such as a four-sided barrier, pool security alarms, a self-closing gate, and a child-proof latch.
- Keep children away from pool drains, pipes, and other openings to avoid entrapments.
- Wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket when boating or participating in other water activities.
If your child sustains harm in a drowning accident due to another person’s negligence, you may have legal rights moving forward. Contact our New Orleans personal injury attorneys at (504) 475-2429 for a free case review.