We’re only a few months away from summer, a time that often involves lounging around pools and splashing about in the water. Whether you plan on hitting the beach, camping, or simply lounging by the home pool, safety should always be a top priority.

With drowning being one of the leading causes of death for children and young adults, it’s important to take preventive measures to avoid any tragic accidents at home. Here are some tips on staying safe and avoiding a drowning accident at home.

May: The National Water Safety Prevention Month

National Water Safety Prevention Month is observed in the United States every May. During this month, various organizations, government agencies, and communities come together to raise awareness about the importance of water safety and educate the public about the potential dangers associated with unsafe water-related activities.

Many states also celebrate this month as their drowning prevention month. Water Safety Prevention Month is particularly crucial as it’s celebrated when many people head to the beach or pool. With more people engaging in swimming, boating, fishing, and other water-based activities, accidents and drowning incidents also increase.

Top Causes of Drowning Accidents

Drowning remains a significant public health concern worldwide, with various factors contributing to these tragic incidents. Understanding the leading causes of drowning is crucial for implementing effective prevention strategies.

Poor Swimming Skills

One of the primary contributors to drowning accidents is the lack of adequate swimming skills. Individuals who are unable to swim proficiently may panic when submerged in water or struggle to stay afloat, increasing their risk of drowning.

This lack of swimming abilities is particularly true for children and inexperienced swimmers who may overestimate their skills or fail to recognize dangerous situations in water bodies. Enrolling in swimming lessons is a simple yet good drowning prevention tip.

No Pool Safety Equipment

The absence or improper use of pool safety equipment significantly increases the risk of drowning, especially in residential and recreational settings. Safety equipment such as fences, gates, pool covers, and alarms are crucial barriers to prevent unauthorized pool access. Additionally, a lack of rescue equipment, such as life rings or reaching poles, can hamper swift rescue efforts during emergencies, leading to tragic outcomes.

Lack of Supervision

Inadequate supervision is a major contributing factor to drowning incidents, especially among children. Accidents can occur swiftly and silently, making constant adult supervision imperative whenever individuals, particularly young children or inexperienced swimmers, are in or around water. Distractions such as electronic devices, socializing, or engaging in other activities may divert caregivers’ attention, leaving individuals vulnerable to drowning accidents.

Not Wearing Life Jackets

Failing to wear properly fitted and coast guard-approved life jackets, particularly when engaging in boating, water sports, or recreational activities in open water, increases the risk of drowning. Life jackets provide buoyancy and support, helping individuals stay afloat even in turbulent water conditions or if they become incapacitated.

Despite their proven effectiveness in preventing drowning, many individuals, particularly adolescents and adults, may neglect to wear life jackets due to perceived discomfort or overconfidence in their swimming abilities.

Injuries You Could Sustain From Drowning

Drowning causes numerous life-threatening injuries. From a traumatic head injury to fatal brain damage, here are some of the most deadly injuries you could sustain in a drowning accident.

Traumatic Head Injuries

Traumatic head injuries are common in drowning incidents, often occurring due to collisions with underwater objects or impacts on the water’s surface.

Upon submersion, individuals may strike their heads against rocks, the pool bottom, or other submerged structures, leading to lacerations, contusions, concussions, or even skull fractures. These injuries can result in immediate impairment or, in severe cases, long-term neurological deficits.

Respiratory Distress

Drowning initiates a cascade of respiratory distress. When submerged underwater, the airway becomes blocked, preventing oxygen from entering the lungs.

As a consequence, the body experiences hypoxia, leading to rapid gasping, coughing, and eventual suffocation if the individual isn’t promptly rescued. Prolonged lack of oxygen can damage vital organs, including the lungs, heart, and brain.

Brain Damage

The brain is highly susceptible to damage during drowning incidents due to oxygen deprivation. Without adequate oxygen supply, brain cells begin to die within minutes, leading to cerebral hypoxia and potential brain damage. Even if resuscitated, survivors may experience cognitive impairments, memory loss, motor dysfunction, or psychiatric disorders due to hypoxic brain injury.


Inhaling water during drowning can lead to respiratory acidosis, a condition characterized by elevated carbon dioxide levels and decreased pH in the blood. This imbalance disrupts cellular metabolism, leading to systemic acidosis and impairing organ function. Acidosis can manifest in symptoms such as confusion, lethargy, cardiac arrhythmias, and multi-organ failure, exacerbating the severity of drowning-related injuries.

Drowning Prevention Strategies, Tips, and Tricks

While drowning accidents can happen to anyone, there are several strategies you can implement to prevent them. These strategies range from simple safety precautions to more advanced techniques that require proper training.

Enroll in Swimming Lessons

Learning how to swim is one of the most effective ways to prevent drowning across all age groups. Enrolling in swimming lessons, especially early, equips individuals with essential water safety skills, such as floating, treading water, and proper stroke techniques.

Additionally, advanced swimming lessons can teach life-saving techniques like rescue maneuvers and survival swimming, enhancing overall water competency. Even adults who never learned how to swim can still enroll in swimming schools.

Install High-Quality Pool Safety Equipment

Installing high-quality safety equipment is essential for individuals with access to private pools. This safety gear includes fences with self-closing gates, pool covers, and alarms to prevent unsupervised access to the pool area. By implementing these safety measures, the risk of accidental drowning, particularly among young children and pets, can be significantly reduced.

Purchase Life Safety Pool Gears

In addition to pool safety equipment, investing in life-saving gear such as personal flotation devices (PFDs) and life jackets is crucial, especially for individuals engaging in water activities like boating, kayaking, or paddleboarding.

Ensure that PFDs are snugly fitted and worn at all times, particularly by non-swimmers and children, to provide buoyancy and aid in flotation in case of emergency. Don’t skimp on these devices. Always choose one from a renowned and accredited brand to make sure it serves its purpose.

Constant Supervision

Regardless of swimming ability, constant supervision by a responsible adult is paramount to prevent drowning incidents. Designate a “water watcher” whose sole responsibility is actively monitoring individuals in or near the water, especially children and weaker swimmers.

Avoid distractions such as smartphones or socializing while supervising, and ensure a quick and effective response to any signs of distress or potential hazards. You or your water watcher should know basic rescue maneuvers or CPR when an emergency arises.

Learn CPR

Acquiring cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification is a valuable skill that can save lives in drowning emergencies. CPR can help restore breathing and circulation until professional medical help arrives, significantly improving the chances of survival for drowning victims. Individuals of all ages, particularly parents, caregivers, and lifeguards, should undergo CPR training and maintain certification regularly.

Avoid Swimming While Drunk

Consuming alcohol impairs judgment, coordination, and reaction time, increasing the risk of accidents and drowning in aquatic environments. It’s essential to avoid swimming or engaging in water activities while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You can prevent alcohol-related drowning incidents by promoting responsible drinking habits and alternative forms of entertainment away from water bodies.

How We Can Help

Drowning accidents are known to lead to wrongful death, permanent injuries, or lifelong disabilities. If you or a loved one has been involved in a drowning incident caused by a pool owner’s negligence, you could recover damages for your losses and suffering.

Our law firm houses experienced personal injury attorneys who can help you navigate the legal process and hold liable parties accountable. With our collective expertise and resources, we can assist you in obtaining the compensation you deserve while ensuring justice is served.

Schedule Your Consultation With Us

Wrongful death cases can be very hard to navigate. Let our team of experienced lawyers assist you today. Contact us now and schedule a consultation to discuss your case and learn more about how we can help you seek justice for your loved one.


What Is a Drowning Accident?

A drowning accident occurs when a person’s airway is obstructed by water, leading to the inability to breathe. It can happen in various water bodies, including pools, bathtubs, lakes, rivers, and oceans.

What Happens in Accidental Drowning?

During accidental drowning, water enters the lungs, preventing oxygen from reaching the bloodstream. This accident can lead to loss of consciousness, respiratory failure, and ultimately, death if the individual isn’t rescued and resuscitated promptly.

What Are the Six Stages of Drowning?

The six stages of drowning, as defined in the Medico-Legal Society Journal, include:

  • Struggle to keep the airway clear of the water
  • Initial submersion and breath-holding
  • Aspiration of water
  • Unconsciousness
  • Cardio-respiratory arrest
  • Death

Is Drowning a Traumatic Death?

Yes, drowning can be a traumatic death, often involving panic, struggle, and extreme distress as the individual fights for survival. It can also have profound emotional and psychological impacts on family members and witnesses.

How Quickly Can a Drowning Accident Happen?

Drowning accidents can happen rapidly and silently, often within minutes or even seconds. In some cases, individuals may lose consciousness within 20-60 seconds of submersion, making swift intervention crucial for survival.