Recent Drowning Statistics Underscore Importance of Stressing Pool Safety

24 August 2013

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 August 24, 2013
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swimming pool accidentsAccording to statistics from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the second most common cause for unintentional deaths for children who are between 1 and 14 years old. Additionally, it is the fifth leading cause of fatalities for people of all ages.

A Look at Recent Drowning Statistics

Natural water settings tend to lead to more deaths than swimming pools. In 2007, more than 43 percent of water drownings occurred in these settings and another 9 percent of drownings involved boating accidents on natural water.

The likelihood of a person drowning also varies with their age, race and gender. For example, Caucasians have a higher likelihood of drowning when they are four years old or younger, compared with African-Americans and Hispanics. African-American deaths peak between the age of 15 and 19 years old. Hispanics see the largest number of drowning deaths in people between 20 and 24 years of age.

Males see an increase of their risk for drowning after the age of one, adding up to 88 percent of the drownings that occur in natural water settings. Each day, approximately ten people die from drowning and usually two of them are children under the age of 14.

Risk Factors Associated with Drowning

A variety of factors can increase or decrease the risk for drowning, including people’s access to swimming pools, whether people know how to swim and whether they opt for water-related hobbies. Individuals who lack swimming ability are at an increased risk of drowning while participating in formal swimming lessons can dramatically reduce the risk of drowning for children between one and four years of age.

A lack of barriers or lack of supervision can also increase the risk of drowning because children can gain access to parts of the swimming area that are not safe to them.

Boating accidents in particular see more drownings when people do not wear life jackets. Adolescents or adults who use alcohol are also at an increased risk for drowning as up to 70 percent of deaths related to water recreation drownings for these age groups involve alcohol.

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