Drownings tragically remain a serious problem in Louisiana and in other parts of the country. Overall, close to 4,000 people of all ages drown each year in this country.
Next to medical issues, drowning is the most common reason young children die. Among children of all ages and young teens, it is the second leading cause of accidental death next to car accidents.
Perhaps equally disturbing is the fact that 8,000 victims experience near-drowning each year. Near-drowning is a serious injury. Once the victim actually breathes in water, they will not get adequate oxygen. Without oxygen, the brain will begin to suffer irreparable damage in minutes.
As is the case with a traumatic brain injury brought about by a head injury, a near-drowning victim may have permanent physical, emotional and intellectual disabilities. They may require constant medical care and, in a few cases, be in a permanent coma.
Many drowning deaths are preventable
Everyone has a responsibility to prevent drowning. People of all ages should avoid drugs and alcohol when around water. Likewise, parents need to supervise their children and, if possible, make sure they know how to swim.
Others also have a responsibility to keep Baton Rouge residents safe from drownings.
Those who own pools need to be sure they are maintained and that their supervision of swimmers is appropriate for the situation. Homeowners should also make sure that their pools have proper and well-maintained fencing to keep children and other people out.
Louisianans who own and operate marinas and even private boat owners also can take steps to prevent drownings.
Boat-owners should be sure all of their passengers have life jackets and use them correctly. They also need to ensure that other safety equipment is both on the boat and working.
Keeping a boat in proper working order is also important for a number of reasons. Aside from preventing accidents, a poorly maintained boat can also release electric current into the water, which can cause an electric shock drowning.
If a person or that person’s loved one suffers a near-drowning because of someone else’s negligence, they may be able to receive compensation.