Drowning is leading cause of kids' accidental death: CDC

May 17, 2012 By Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter
Drowning is leading cause of kids' accidental death: CDC
Swimming lessons can help protect toddlers, experts say.

(HealthDay) -- Drowning kills more American children 1 to 4 years old than any cause except birth defects, according to a new federal report.

Half of those drown in . And males are victims four times as often as females, the report by the U.S. found.

Between 2005 and 2009, more than 3,800 people of all ages drowned annually nationwide. Another 5,700 people went to the hospital in near-drowning incidents. Of these, 50 percent were hospitalized or transferred for additional care, the report authors said.

Many who survived suffered irreversible brain damage, said report co-author Dr. Julie Gilchrist, a medical epidemiologist in the CDC's Division of Unintentional .

Precautions that parents can take include blocking access to swimming pools, increasing vigilance and starting , experts said.

There's good research that swimming lessons for kids 1 to 4 can be lifesavers, Gilchrist said. "It would be really nice for children to have the skills so they can manage themselves in the rare event that they end up in the water and survive long enough so parents can find them and get them out," she said.

In many cases involving home pools, parents are unaware that their child has sneaked out of the house, Gilchrist said. "That's why you have to have barriers, something that will slow down your child's access to the water," she said.

The report was published in the May 18 issue of the CDC's .

Here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • All caregivers should learn CPR.
  • Never leave a toy in or around a pool.
  • Never leave a child alone in or near a pool.
  • Make sure an adult is always within arm's length.
  • Children ages 1 to 4 years old should take swimming lessons. But remember that to swim does not guarantee their safety in the water.
  • Teach children to never run, push or jump on others around water. Teach them never to swim alone.
  • Keep a phone by the pool, along with rescue equipment, such as a life preserver and a shepherd's hook -- a long pole with a hook at the end.
  • Pools should be surrounded by a fence at least 4-feet high. Pool gates should self-close and self-latch at a height unreachable by small children.
  • If you have an inflatable or plastic pool, empty it after each use and turn it upside down.

Explore further: Study identifies scenarios that precede at-home pool drownings of young children

More information: For more on drowning prevention, visit Safe Kids USA..

Related Stories

Study identifies scenarios that precede at-home pool drownings of young children

October 17, 2011
Very young children who live in a home with a swimming pool are at risk of drowning, a leading cause of injury death among toddlers. A study abstract presented Monday, Oct. 17, at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) ...

New study uncovers the dangers of portable pools

June 20, 2011
As the weather gets warmer, many parents will turn to pools to keep their family cool. Due to their low cost and ease of use, portable pools - which include wading pools, inflatable pools and soft-sided, self-rising pools ...

Recommended for you

Baby brains help infants figure it out before they try it out

January 17, 2018
Babies often amaze their parents when they seemingly learn new skills overnight—how to walk, for example. But their brains were probably prepping for those tasks long before their first steps occurred, according to researchers.

NeuroNext biomarker study explores natural history of infantile-onset SMA

January 9, 2018
Research led by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center to define the natural history of infantile-onset spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) has been "critical" to accelerate the development of effective therapies and hasten ...

No link between childhood lead levels, later criminality

December 27, 2017
(HealthDay)— Exposure to higher levels of lead during early childhood can affect neurological development—but does that mean affected kids are doomed to delinquency?

Early puberty in girls may take mental health toll

December 26, 2017
(HealthDay)—A girl who gets her first menstrual period early in life—possibly as young as 7—has a greater risk for developing depression and antisocial behaviors that last at least into her 20s, a new study suggests.

Technology not taking over children's lives despite screen-time increase

December 21, 2017
With children spending increasing amounts of time on screen-based devices, there is a common perception that technology is taking over their lives, to the detriment and exclusion of other activities. However, new Oxford University ...

Higher blood sugar in early pregnancy raises baby's heart-defect risk

December 15, 2017
Higher blood sugar early in pregnancy raises the baby's risk of a congenital heart defect, even among mothers who do not have diabetes, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.