Photo of a pool

Starting this Friday, millions of people will partake in celebrating our country’s independence. Unfortunately, the risk of drowning greatly increases during July 4 weekend. It is important to be mindful of this danger when you are out swimming this weekend.

What Is Drowning?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “drowning is the process of experiencing respiratory impairment from submersion or immersion in liquid.”

MedicineNet.com explains in more detail the process of drowning:

  • When water comes into contact with the larynx (voice box), the victim takes in a gasp of air.
  • The victim’s larynx begins to contract involuntary which leads to decreased levels of oxygen in the bloodstream (hypoxemia).
  • With a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, the blood starts to turn acidic. This problem can lead to cardiac arrest or brain damage, because the acid and low oxygen are unable to perform the functions of the heart and brain.
  • Through time, a drowning victim will start to lose body function, which causes the larynx to relax and allows the water to move into the lungs.

However, a person can drown even without water flooding the lungs. MedicineNet.com says that this happens in 20 percent of drowning cases.

Here are a few helpful tips for safe swimming:

  • WHO says that in the USA, the second leading cause of death in children aged 1 to 14 is drowning. Family and friends should all make sure to keep a close eye on children while they swim.
  • Teach everyone how to swim.
  • Do not use alcohol or drugs while swimming.
  • Make sure swimming pools have a fence or gate around the pool to prevent children from entering unsupervised.

Although there can be many dangers lurking during the July 4 weekend, taking these safety precautions will ensure that your time is spent enjoying the holiday with friends and family.

Have a happy and safe July 4 weekend!

Did You Know? According to the World Health Organization, children under 5 years of age have the highest drowning mortality rates worldwide.

The Law Offices of Aaron Allison – Austin Personal Injury Attorney

Source: http://www.medicinenet.com/drowning/article.htm#what_is_drowning_and_what_are_the_statistics

The Law Offices of Aaron Allison