On Memorial Day, tragedy struck as a 23 year old man drowned in Bigelow Hollow State Park in Union, CT, which borders Mashapaug Lake. The man was swimming with friends and family, and several people saw him go under water, but could not locate him. Divers were able to find him, but he was pronounced dead later that day.
In 2007, there were 3,443 fatal unintentional drownings in the United States (about 10 deaths per day). While drowning can cause death in both adults and children, children are at significantly greater risk. More than 1 in 5 people who die from drowning are children under the age of 14. In fact, drowning is the second leading cause of death for children under age 14.
Rapid response from attentive lifeguards and supervisors can save lives. Injuries from near drowning can be serious as well, including brain injury, cardiac arrest, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
As frightening as these statistics are, there are preventative measures that can be taken to increase a child's water safety. It can take a child less than 2 minutes to drown and they can drown in just two inches of water. There is generally no warning sign such as splashing or screaming. It is recommended that you enroll your child in swim lessons after they turn 4, because this is the age where children really begin to retain information. It is also recommended that you teach children never to go near or in water without an adult present. Fences and alarms should be installed to alert the caregiver if the child wanders into the pool area. Just adding four-sided isolation fencing around home pools could prevent many childhood drownings.
Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder has experience representing families who have suffered the loss of family members to drowning. The firm is currently representing a woman who tragically lost her young daughter when the girl drowned in a community pool.