Drowning Deaths Stress Importance of Precautions

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This weekend’s tragedy was the third child drowning in South Jersey this month. Experts say preventing drowning deaths is possible, but you have to be aware of the steps to take.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States.

And the symptoms can be pretty simple.

“Typically, you’ll see patients express shortness of breath, coughing,” said Dr. Jennifer LeComte, the chief of the Division of General Medicine at Rowan Medicine.

When it comes to keeping you and your family safe from drowning it all boils down to prevention.

Not as common, dry drowning or secondary drowning has very similar symptoms but can occur after someone gets out of the water.

“In dry drowning, you really just have spasms in the larynx,” said LeComte. "So, it doesn’t allow the water to get into the lungs. Secondary drowning means it did get into the lungs."

When it comes to keeping you and your family safe from drowning it all boils down to prevention.

“It’s so important to prevent drowning,” said LeComte. "To make sure that you’re keeping an eye on children, on anyone who has developmental disabilities. Keeping an eye on toddlers means being at arm’s length and being close by."

But, drowning isn’t just something to be aware of for just children. In fact, according to the CDC, 10 people die every day of unintentional drowning. Out of those 10, only two were under the age of 14.

“Really at any age, anyone can drown so [for] any exposure to water, we should all be wearing life preservers,” said LeComte.

Part of being prepared is teaching your toddler how to swim.

But it’s also important to know how to help someone who may be drowning.

“Typically, when someone pulls someone out of a body of water and they’re not breathing, they should start CPR,” said LeComte. "We should all know CPR when exposed to a water emergency."

Ultimately, if an emergency was to occur the victim should see a doctor immediately. 

Recommended: Red Cross: Emergency Need for Blood Donations 

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