Passionate Advocates For The Injured

The New Definition Of Drowning

On Behalf of | Firm News

Health officials have labeled drowning as a modern public health crisis, partially due to the fact that the signs of a drowning person are so misunderstood. Another factor is because swim lessons, or even access to a body of water, are not available to all Americans.

Even if you know how to swim, you should understand the key signs of a swimmer in distress in case you’re the only one who recognizes a problem. You can then either make moves to save the swimmer or alert a lifeguard.

Hollywood depicts drowning in a dramatic way, with the victim jumping up and down, flailing their arms, and yelling for help. If it was this obvious that someone was at risk of drowning, there wouldn’t be an average of 10 fatal drownings a day. In fact, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in children aged 4 and under.

Drowning occurs when water obstructs your airways, preventing your lungs from getting oxygen. This can happen quicker than you realize, as someone who is inhaling water will quickly become disoriented and exhausted, hindering their ability to keep their head above water.

It’s important to understand the new definition of drowning so that you don’t have to contact a swimming pool accident lawyer after the death of a loved one.

Only in the rarest of circumstances can a drowning person call out for help. Since they are struggling to breathe, they are physiologically unable to shout for help. Their mouth will also sink below the surface and rise periodically, but not for enough time to exhale, inhale, and then call for help.

Additionally, someone who is in distress in the water does not have full control of their movements. The natural instinct when drowning is to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Throughout the drowning process, drowning people will lose control of their arm movements, so they will not be able to do voluntary movements such as waving for help or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment.

Sherman Oaks personal injury attorneys will also tell you to look out for these signs of a drowning person when you’re at a public pool:

  • Head low in the water, mouth at water level
  • Head tilted back with mouth open
  • Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
  • Hair hanging over forehead or eyes
  • Not kicking their legs
  • Hyperventilating or gasping
  • Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
  • Trying to swim on their back