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- The ARC - California Edition -

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The Prevention of DROWNING and NEAR-DROWNING

What do we know about DROWNING? What do we know about NEAR DROWNING? What is NEAR DROWNING? Interesting questions, especially when we thought we knew it all.

Certainly, the term drowning infers that an individual formally a living person died because he became submerged in water or some other oxygen-void medium which caused the death of that person. You can clearly understand the incidence for drowning, IF, you have a system available that is capable of counting the bodies, and that is also able to determine the cause of death.

The majority of drowning incidents take place in residential swimming pools. Most children who drown in swimming pools were thought to have been inside their homes under the care of one or both parents and had been out of sight less than five minutes. This has been verified time and time again. 

Researchers that have studied this issue within the state of California have found that children, age 4 and under, are involved in an annual average of 375 residential swimming pool drowning. A drowning by definition results in death. And these same researcher types have established that in the state of California more than 2,700 NEAR DROWNING incidents are occurring each year that are requiring hospital emergency room treatment. These are the survivors that ended up being taken to the hospital.

These hospitalized near-drowning victims often end up with significant neurological impairment and later become developmentally delayed/mentally retarded. In California, thirty percent of our near-drowning victims end up being permanently damaged from being submerged, and then being lucky enough to survive. This means that an estimated average of over 500 people per year in this state are being damaged because of this one cause near drowning.

DROWNING and NEAR DROWNING are almost always preventable. The California Health Department strongly recommends that homeowners and businesses with swimming pools or spas make certain they have layers of protection around their bodies of water. 

Toddlers are the most frequent victims. The typical scenario involves a male toddler who was last seen to be inside a house, but gained access to a swimming pool through an unlocked door or window.

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