Drowning is a serious risk for children with autism. Indeed, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of death for children with autism. According to several studies, children with autism are 160 times more likely to drown than their peers without autism.
There are a number of specific factors that need to be borne in mind when it comes to the incidence of drowning accidents involving children diagnosed with autism:
- Children on the autism spectrum are more significantly drawn to water.
- Many children with autism have communication difficulties
- Many children with autism are less aware of their surroundings
- Autism can impact a child’s ability to swim
- Drowning rate for children with autism is highest between ages five and seven
- Boys with autism are at a higher risk of drowning
- Swimming lessons are beneficial to children with autism
- Supervision is key to protecting children with autism
Children with Autism are More Significantly Drawn to Water
Children with autism often have a particular affinity for water. They may be more drawn to water than children not diagnosed with autism. Children with autism may be attracted to water not just because of the sensory experience, but also because it can be a source of calmness and relaxation.
Many Children with Autism have Communication Difficulties
Communication can be challenging for children with autism, which can make it more difficult for parents and caregivers to recognize when the child is in distress or needs help. This can be especially dangerous when the child is around water. For instance, a child with autism may not be able to call for help when they are struggling to stay afloat.
Children with Autism May be Less Aware of Their Surroundings
Children with autism may be less aware of their surroundings, including the dangers associated with water. They may not recognize the depth of the water or understand the risks of jumping or diving. They may also not understand that water can be dangerous and that they should not enter it without supervision.
Autism can Impact a Child's Ability to Swim
Some children with autism may have difficulty learning to swim due to sensory issues or difficulty with motor skills. This can further increase their risk of drowning, as they may not have the skills needed to stay afloat and avoid danger. However, some children with autism may also excel in swimming because of their affinity for water.
Drowning Risk is Highest in Children with Autism Between the Ages of 5 and 7
Children with autism are at the highest risk of drowning between the ages of 5 and 7. This is an important age range for parents and caregivers to be especially vigilant about water safety. Children at this age may be more curious, less fearful, and more likely to engage in dangerous water activities.
Boys with Autism are at Higher Risk of Drowning
Boys with autism are at a higher risk of drowning than girls with autism. This is likely due to a combination of factors, including the increased likelihood of boys engaging in risky behaviors around water. Boys may also be more likely to be drawn to water than girls.
Swimming Lessons can be Beneficial for Children with Autism
Swimming lessons can be highly beneficial for children with autism. Not only can they help improve the child's swimming skills, but they can also increase their confidence in the water, which can help reduce the risk of drowning. Swimming lessons can also provide a structured environment for children with autism to learn social skills and engage in physical activity.
Supervision is Key to Protecting Children with Autism
Perhaps the most important thing parents and caregivers can do to prevent drowning in children with autism is to provide close supervision when the child is around water. This means never leaving the child alone near water, and being highly vigilant even when the child is in a swimming pool or other controlled environment. Parents and caregivers should also consider using safety equipment such as life jackets and pool alarms.
If you have a child with autism who has been injured or killed in a drowning accident caused by the negligence of someone else, The Doan Law Firm is here for you. You can schedule an initial consultation with our firm by calling (800) 349-0000. The Doan Law Firm will never charge an attorney fee unless we win your case for you.