If numbers from past years hold steady, about 10 people will drown this year in Richmond, Columbia and Aiken counties and the surrounding rural areas.
According to Georgia and South Carolina public health records, 65 people between the ages of 1 and 75 have died from drowning since 2007 region-wide. That’s an average of 10 people per year, with about 60 percent of the fatalities being men.
The good news is that drowning – the leading cause of injury death for young children and the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death for people of all ages – is preventable.
To stay safe, experts recommend a number of precautions, such as learning to swim and never swimming alone.
Also recommended is that adults, especially those who are parents or who care for children, learn basic first aid and CPR, which can mean the difference between life and death.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends four-sided pool fences at least 4 feet high with self-closing, self-latching gates unreachable by children and that open outward on residential pools.