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Orange County Drowning Calls Surpass 2013

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Fire officials in Orange County have seen more swimming pool and drowning accidents this year already than they did in 2013, The Orange County Register reports.

On Sunday, emergency responders rushed to a community pool on Keywood Lane in Santa Ana to help revive a 2-year-old boy.

This was the 74th drowning
call of the year. This boy survived, but so far in 2014, 32 people have died from drownings.

One of the Worst Years for Drownings

There have been 19 deaths of people 50 or older, seven fatalities between the ages of 17 and 49 and six fatalities of those 16 and younger. By comparison, there were 73 drowning calls and 37 deaths in Orange County in all of last year.

So far, Orange County’s worst year was 2012 when 93 drowning calls and 53 fatalities were reported. The latest drowning occurred in the ocean off Newport Beach when a man in his 20s drowned in the ocean.

Officials say the warm weather this year, inviting beaches and an abundance of swimming pools are likely contributing factors to the increase in drowning calls.

What You Need to Know

Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death in children ages 1 to 4. What a number of parents and caregivers or even adults do not realize is that drowning can occur even when you know how to swim.

No one is “drown-proof” regardless of their level of swimming ability. Falls, entrapments and injuries lead to drowning regardless of swimming level. A majority of people overestimate their own and their child’s ability to swim, especially in a panic.

Drowning can be quick and silent. It could occur in as little as a minute or two. Irreversible brain damage occurs when a person is submerged for as little as four minutes. Most children who die are submerged for between six and 10 minutes. Children who drown do not usually scream, splash or struggle. They silently slop beneath the water.

Prevention is Key

As Orange County personal injury attorneys who represent injured victims and their families, we see at least a few cases of drowning or near drowning each year. Here are steps we can all take to prevent drowning and near-drowning incidents:

• Provide constant visual supervision.
• Teach your children to swim.
• Install pool fences as well as self-closing, self-latching gates and door alarms in areas leading to pools and spas.
• If you have a missing child, check the pool or spa first. Every second counts.
• Learn and use CPR. It doubles the victim’s chance of survival.

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