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Children’s Drowning Rates Drop by Nearly Half Over 16 Years | Palm Coast Personal Injury Lawyer

Children’s Drowning Rates Drop by Nearly Half Over 16 Years

Fewer children required hospitalization due to drowning-related incidents during the last two decades, a new study shows.

Pediatric hospitalizations from drowning-related incidents declined 51 percent from 1993 to 2008, according to the study from the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. The number of children who died in the hospital from drowning-related injuries also dropped by more than 40 percent.

The rates decreased for all ages and genders, although drowning-related hospitalizations remained higher for boys at all ages. Hospitalization rates also dropped significantly across the U.S., with the greatest drop in the South. Despite that, the South still had the highest rate of pediatric hospitalizations for drowning.

Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death of children in the U.S. up to age 19. Research shows that for every pediatric death linked to drowning, another two children are hospitalized for drowning injuries. Drowning accounts for more than 1,000 pediatric deaths annually in U.S. and over 5,000 related injuries.

For the study, researchers analyzed inpatient hospitalization and discharge data for children through age 19 over a 16-year period. During this time, it is estimated that the overall rate of children hospitalized for drowning was 4.7 hospitalizations per 100,000 in 1993, but it fell to 2.4 per 100,000 by 2008.

Researchers note that during the study time period, notable efforts to reduce the drowning risk in children were promoted, such as installation of four-sided pool fencing, the endorsement of childhood swim lessons by public health agencies, and the use of personal flotation devices. Reductions in hospitalizations for bathtub drowning incidents, most common for children under 4, may be a result of targeted efforts that encourage vigilance in supervision and offer education on the risks associated with infant bathtub seats.

Continued support and funding for these efforts can help to further reduce drowning hospitalizations in children, researchers say.

“We found a significant decline in the rate of pediatric drowning hospitalizations, which is consistent with documented decreases in pediatric deaths from drowning,” said Dr. Stephen Bowman, lead study author and an assistant professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. “Our findings provide evidence of a true decrease in drowning-related incidents, rather than simply a shift towards more children dying before reaching a hospital.”

For more on child injury issues, see the library of articles by Daytona Beach child injury attorney.



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