A 10-year-old girl who lived near Sacramento died in what authorities believe was an electric shock drowning.
The girl was swimming in her family's pool when she apparently underwent a low-voltage electric shock. While it was not clear whether the voltage actually killed the girl, it did prevent her from being able to swim, which caused an accidental drowning.
While this marks close to 100 reported incidents of electric shock drownings, experts say that many other incidents, including non-fatal injury accidents, go unreported.
Electric shock drowning is a risk whenever there is an electrical current within or close to a body of water, like a swimming pool, or a pond or lake. Electric current can come from a pool's equipment, from a marina or even from a passing boat. Particularly in fresh water, if not properly contained, this current can run right through a swimmer, causing a shock severe enough to paralyze a person and cause drowning.
When it comes to electric shock drowning, a little prevention can go a long way. For instance, owners of pools should have a qualified electrician check out their pool equipment and wiring to make sure it is in proper working order. Likewise, deteriorating caulk around electrical components in a pool can cause electrical current to flow through the water.
Those who own boats or marinas must also make sure that their equipment is in good working order. Generally speaking, well-maintained electrical equipment and wiring will not leak electrical current.
Someone in the Modesto area who suffers from an electric shock drowning or a near-drowning may have legal options available to them. One may, for instance, choose to file a personal injury case.