Swimming Park Accidents: 4 Types of Drowning Victims

little-girl-eating-ice-creamEvery year when the temperatures begin to rise, there’s no denying the Texas heat. Air conditioning and swimming pools are the only true escapes from the heat. Many gather at local pools and water parks to beat the heat, but the risk of drowning is as ever present danger. Proper rescue can best be executed only when the type of victim is properly identified. There are four types of drowning victims, and all require different rescue techniques and care. Listed below are the four categories of at-risk swimmers:

1. Distressed

Distressed is the one category of swimmer that isn’t in immediate danger, yet is very prone to turning into an active drowner. Distressed swimmers can be identified by their weak or tired stroke, and diagonal body orientation. The reason for their struggle may vary due to fatigue, health disorders, or swimmers who have become disoriented from falling into the water. If you see a distressed swimmer, encourage them to discontinue activity before their life becomes at risk.

2. Active

The next level of drowning victim is an active drowner. Unlike the distressed swimmer, an active drowner is unable to call for help. The victim is too busy struggling in a panic to try to keep their head above water to call for help. An active drowner will be flailing around, and if you do not assist them their condition will only worsen.

3. Passive

If an active victim “goes under” they have likely inhaled water and are on the path to death by drowning. If a victim is passive for too long, it is likely they will die. Passive victims can be found floating on the surface, or underwater.

4. Spinal

A spinal injury is unlike any other type of drowning victim in that someone who is spinal could be distressed, active, or passive. Many spinal injuries are a result of shallow water diving. The impact from a spinal injury could knock them unconscious and/or render them unable to move. If they become paralyzed from the injury, their immobility could cause them to go from active to passive as they won’t be able to keep their head above the surface. Spinal victim precautions should be taken anytime a spinal injury is even remotely a possibility.

Other injuries can happen at water parks that have nothing to do with drowning! If you or someone you know is injured at a waterpark, please contact Loewy Law Firm for legal counsel from our personal injury attorneys.