Drowning Deaths for U.S. Children Have Fallen 38% Since 1999

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By Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, July 15, 2021 (HealthDay Information)

There’s some excellent news as tens of millions of American youngsters head again to the nations’ lakes, seashores and swimming pools: Newly launched numbers for 1999 by way of 2019 present regular progress in decreasing the variety of younger lives misplaced to drowning.

“Over the previous twenty years, the speed of unintentional drowning deaths amongst youngsters aged 0 to 17 years declined 38%, from 1.6 per 100,000 in 1999 to 1.0 in 2019,” in accordance with researchers on the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention‘s Nationwide Heart for Well being Statistics (NCHS).

“We’re discovering disparities by particular traits, however sure, there may be an general decline over the interval,” stated examine creator Merianne Spencer, of the NCHS in Hyattsville, Md.

Nonetheless, the numbers of tragic little one deaths stay too excessive. In 2018 alone, about 900 U.S. youngsters and teenagers died by drowning, and seven,000 extra had been taken to emergency rooms for drowning scares, in accordance with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

The truth that the general dying charges are declining is encouraging, consultants stated. The development in all probability stems from efforts by a number of organizations to extend public consciousness about water security, in accordance with Morag MacKay, analysis director of the nonprofit group Secure Children Worldwide.

These efforts embody selling swimming classes and using life jackets, fences round swimming pools and a rising wave of laws for all times jacket use, she stated.

“Actually, there have been efforts in that timeframe to extend the general public’s consciousness concerning the risks concerned and what you need to do from a water security perspective,” MacKay stated.

The brand new NCHS examine discovered that within the twenty years coated, drowning deaths had been highest amongst 1- to 4-year-olds, although charges did drop from 3.2 per 100,000 in 1999 to 2.4 per 100,000 in 2019.

For youths as much as 13 years of age, most drowned in swimming swimming pools. For 14- to 17-year-olds, pure our bodies of water posed the best danger, the researchers discovered.

“I feel this can actually give insights into what prevention methods we’d wish to do for particular age teams, as an illustration,” Spencer stated.

However drowning does not occur solely at swimming spots. Bathtubs and even buckets of water can endanger infants and toddlers.

In 2019, 75% of drowning deaths for youths beneath 1 12 months of age occurred in bathtubs. The speed of drowning deaths involving infants dropped from 1.8 per 100,000 in 1999 to 0.9 per 100,000 in 2019, in accordance with the examine.

Mother and father and caregivers can defend youngsters with some easy precautions, MacKay stated.

“Perceive that youngsters can drown in as little as a few inches of water [and] that infants beneath the age of 1 are head-heavy — within the occasion that they topple over, the top is heavier than the remainder of their physique,” she stated. “It is one of many explanation why youngsters in that age group are liable to falling over to start with, however for those who do it in a tub and there is not any one round when it occurs, then that may finish in tragedy.”

Extra 1- to 4-year-olds die from drowning than some other trigger besides start defects, in accordance with the CDC. Even when drowning doesn’t finish in dying, it may possibly trigger long-term well being issues, together with mind injury.

In its just-released Prevention of Drowning report, the AAP beneficial layers of safety, together with swimming classes, lifeguards, drowning-prevention methods and emergency response plans.

The NCHS examine, launched July 15, revealed that boys had been extra seemingly than women to die from drowning. In 2019, their danger was roughly double that of ladies.

Children in rural counties had been at better danger than these in city areas. Drowning deaths declined for Black youngsters between 1999 and 2003, however charges have since been regular.

MacKay cited a number of causes for the upper danger for Black youngsters, together with accessibility to swimming classes and a number of generations in households who have not realized to swim.

Secure Children Worldwide recommends that younger and/or weak swimmers have grownup supervision inside arm’s attain. And even an excellent swimmer who’s older mustn’t swim alone, the group added.

Planning a pool celebration? MacKay beneficial energetic supervision. Meaning assigning one or two individuals at a time to look at particular youngsters in deliberate 15- to 20-minute shifts.

Children ought to be taught primary swimming abilities, together with find out how to attain the water’s floor after which float, which takes much less vitality than treading water. Mother and father must also be taught to swim and find out how to carry out CPR, MacKay stated.

“When you’re a extremely energetic household and also you’re doing a variety of water actions, you could select to place your little one in swimming classes sooner than a household that’s doing it much less typically, however we actually do advocate that each one youngsters be taught to swim when it is the correct time for them,” MacKay stated.




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Extra data

The American Pink Cross has extra on drowning prevention and water security.

SOURCES: Merianne Spencer, MPH, researcher, U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention’s Nationwide Heart for Well being Statistics, Hyattsville, Md.; Morag MacKay, MsC, analysis director, Secure Children Worldwide, Washington, D.C.; NCHS Knowledge Transient, July 15, 2021; American Academy of Pediatrics, information launch, July 12, 2021

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