08/06/2008

Who is likely to drown?

The death of a 10-year-old boy from South Carolina this week while lying in his own bed, has brought attention to the little known “dry drowning. However, do you know who is likely to drown, when and where?

  • Drowning claims nearly 8,000 lives annually. It is the fourth leading cause of accidental death in the United States. For children, it is the second leading cause of accidental death for school-age children and the number one cause for preschoolers.

  • Two-thirds of drownings happen in the summer months: 40% occur on Saturday and Sunday. Some 90% occur in fresh water even in states with large coastal regions. More than half of these cases occur in home swimming pools.

  • One-quarter to one-third of the drowning victims had swimming lessons. Although drowning equally affects both sexes, males have a rate 3 times higher than females because of increased reckless behavior and use of alcohol.

  • Children less than age 1 year tend to drown in bathtubs and buckets because they are not coordinated enough to get out by themselves when they fall in. Older children age 1-4 drown in swimming pools, while those age 5-14 years tend to drown in lakes, ponds, rivers, and oceans. The adolescents and adults tend to drown because of impaired swimming ability from alcohol or illicit drug use.

  • States with the highest drowning rate are Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oregon, and Florida.
SOURCE : emedicinehealth.com