According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each day about 10 people die from unintentional drowning. Drowning is the 6th leading cause of death for people of all ages. The CDC also reported that for every child that dies from drowning, another 4 received emergency medical care for a nonfatal incident.
Dr. Heidi Dalton, chief of critical-care medicine at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital recently explained what happens when a child is drowning.
Infants know not to get water in their lungs. Their strong reflex forces them to move quickly until they are exhausted or are forced to breathe because of the lack of oxygen. They will experience a sense of suffocation.
As the child starts to sink they breathe as the body’s natural response takes over. Children store less oxygen in their bloodstream which causes then to pass out faster than teenagers or adults.
The brain and blood continue to be deprived of oxygen which may cause cardiac arrest. In most cases, infants that have drowned do not have water in their lungs.
When pulling an infant from the water, parents or first responders need to restart the body’s breathing.
Dr. Dalton says that “the amount of time underwater does not determine whether a child will live or die. The fate of the child depends on multiple factors; including how long she was without oxygen and whether the heart had stopped.”
If you’re child has been involved in a drowning or near-drowning incident in Arizona the Phoenix child drowning accident attorneys of The Husband and Wife Law Team are available for a free consultation at (602) 457-6222.