As the Fourth of July approaches, many will be tempted to take advantage of Colorado’s rivers and lakes to beat the heat. Enjoy the sunshine, but make sure to keep a close watch on children and loved ones around the water.
Accidents can happen quickly. So far this year, 13 people have drowned in Colorado’s waterways. Fishermen, children and rafters have all lost their lives this year as spring runoff makes the water high and fast.
The founder of the Colorado Drowning Prevention Task Force says that the most common mistake is misjudging the water’s roughness and your own abilities.
“[Even if you are a good swimmer] there are many hazards in the water: rocks you could hit your head on, trees you can become entangled in, and fast moving currents that you may not be able to fight against,” he cautioned.
For those still wishing to try their luck, the expert advised that they always swim with a friend, swim only in safe swim areas and if you lose control in the water, point your feet downstream.
What Are the Dangers of Secondary Drowning?
Even if your child survives a near drowning, they may not be out of danger. Secondary drowning can affect victims hours after they leave the river or pool.
A secondary drowning occurs when a swimmer inhales water rapidly, forcing water past the vocal chords before the body has time to react.
The victim seems fine after the incident, but the water left in their lungs could cause edema, or swelling, over time. The lungs cannot process oxygen correctly, so the blood’s oxygen level drops and the heart slows.
If left untreated, complications could lead to pulmonary edema –indicated by pink discharge from the nose and mouth –respiratory arrest, and even death.
Keep your loved ones, especially children, close this Fourth of July. If something goes wrong, the symptoms may not show up until later.
At Metier Law Firm, we believe all children have the right to a safe and happy childhood. Children are safest when adults do their part to supervise and protect them. If adults act irresponsibly, children and families can suffer unimaginable loss.
If your child has been injured due to the negligence of others, call Metier Law Firm. We can help protect your injured child’s rights.
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