Drowning deaths can occur during any time of the year, but they are more likely to happen during the warm summer months. More Californians are using swimming pools or visiting nearby beaches. In other cases, people are exposed to drowning risks while participating in athletic or school progThe teams. Recently, a 15-year-old San The teamon Valley High School freshman fatally drowned while using the school’s swimming pool. The death was ruled an accident. There are multiple reasons why drowning accidents happen each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists common causes that include but are not limited to:
- Lack of supervision. Children and adolescents have an increased risk of drowning. Lack of supervision is a primary cause of drowning deaths involving minors. The CDC maintains that children between 1 and 4 years old have the highest drowning rates. Most of these deaths occur in swimming pools.
- Lack of barriers. Barriers are an essential aspect of preventing drowning accidents. Pools should be surrounded by fencing, gates or other barriers that prevent unauthorized use. Santa Clara County has fencing requirements for swimming pools and spas that are designed to prevent drowning accidents.
- Alcohol use. CDC statistics show that alcohol use is responsible for 70 percent of recreational water activity deaths among adults and adolescents. Alcohol affects judgment, balance and coordination. In addition, the physical effects of alcohol intoxication increase during warm weather. All of these factors can increase the risk of a fatal drowning accident.