(Little Rock, KATV) — As it heats up and folks head out to the water professionals are speaking out on the dangers of drowning.
It's that time of year where people are spending more time around the water with their family and friends...But it's important to keep an eye out for any potential emergencies.
According to the CDC, 4,000 Americans die each year due to unintentional drownings.
In addition, drowning the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 1 and 4.
Three time Olympic Gold Medalist, Rowdy Gaines says most of the incidents can be prevented if an adult is keeping a close eye on the children in their care, avoiding distractions like phones.
Drownings can happen within seconds... However, Gaines encourages swimming lessons especially for children but even adults saying chances of survival are increased significantly when a person knows how to swim. Even a skill as simple as floating.
"When they've learned that skill of floating on their back... that buys them time and that time will save their life and that's the basic skill. There's so many others... There's learning to blow bubbles which gives them a feeling of being able to put their face in the water and put their face out of the water at times when they're in and up... kind of bobbing up and down. Getting in and out of the pool safely is another skill. That's really important," Gaines said.
.UAMS says when it comes to potential drownings, time is of the essences, encouraging anyone in the vicinity to be proactive in an emergency by pulling the person out of the water and check if they are breathing.
Potential drowning victims still are monitored up to 8 days after the incident to keep an eye on the amount of water inhaled, due to potential complications.
Adults are also urged to take the initiative on learning CPR and bring proactive to prevent avoidable water related deaths.
"Timing is of the most importance in these situations. The more time the person stays in water the more likely they are to get irreversible damages... neurological damages, some changes in the brain or many other respiratory damages that may not be correctable or might take a long time to get better so immediately as soon as you feel like someone is drowning I would say if there's more than one person immediately call 911," UAMS, M.D., Payal Gandhi said,
Arkansas is ranked 8th in the states with the most drownings.