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Some children are up to 10 times more likely to drown than others


Teens aged 15 to 19 are 10 times more likely to drown than girls, according to a July report released by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The report indicates that this could be due to multiple factors, including boys overestimating their swimming ability more than girls or more alcohol consumption by boys compared to girls.

“You just have to go into the open water and see how many men versus women are in the water,” said Dr Linda Quan, pediatric emergency physician. at Seattle Children’s Hospital and author of the report.

About 75% of all drowning children and adolescents are boys, according to the report.

The report also found that black and Native American / Alaska Native children aged 19 and under were much more likely to drown than other races.

When it came to swimming pool deaths, black children aged 5 to 19 were five and a half times more likely to drown than white children.

“We know that low socioeconomic neighborhoods have fewer resources,” said Quan, who is also professor emeritus of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. “These must be treated as a community problem. “

All communities should have access to water recreation opportunities and school-aged children should take a swimming test, she added.

Young children are the most frequent victims

For children aged 1 to 4, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury death, according to the report.

For infants, most drownings occur in tubs or large buckets, according to the report.

According to the AAP report, up to 30% of caregivers admitted to leaving children under the age of 2 unsupervised in a bath for between one and just over five minutes.

Children should be supervised at all times, Quan stressed, as they cannot afford to keep from drowning.

“It sounds ridiculous, but I saw my own 2 year old daughter trip over and sit in a body of water covering her nose and do nothing to save herself,” she said. “I had to pull her to get her straight.

For drowning, timing is everything

About 70% of drowning deaths in the United States among children 15 and under occur between May and August, according to the report. This coincides with some of the warmer months of the year when many children are on school vacation.

Some children are up to 10 times more likely to drown than others

The hours between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. are the most dangerous times for drowning. About half of the drownings occurred during this time, the busiest time for swimming, according to a separate study cited by The report.

It’s also the time when adults are often multitasking, often trying to cook dinner and help their kids with homework, Quan said.

She recommends that parents use pool fencing and other passive interventions, which are injury prevention tools that don’t require parenting work.

How to protect your children

The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages parents to follow several water safety guidelines to prevent drowning.

For home pools, the academy recommends installing a fence at least 4 feet high, with self-closing gates that surround the pool.

Children should be supervised at all times and wear life jackets when swimming, according to the AAP.

For an extra layer of protection, parents should enroll their children in swimming lessons from the age of 1. Speak with your pediatrician for more specific recommendations.

Infants should never be left unattended in a bath, as bath seats may tip over. After the child has finished bath time, immediately pour in the water.

If someone is drowning, the AAP recommends the following steps:

  • Recognize the signs of someone in difficulty and cry out for help.
  • Save and remove the person from the water without endangering themselves.
  • Call emergency medical services.
  • Begin artificial respiration and CPR and use an AED (or automated external defibrillator) if available.
  • Transfer care to advanced resuscitation, if necessary.

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