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What is the most common cause of deaths among children below 4?

Unintentional drowning cases on the rise in United States, says CDC

By Web Desk
May 21, 2024
US sees increase in drowning cases. — AFP File
US sees increase in drowning cases. — AFP File

Alarming new data from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates a sharp rise in drowning deaths in the US. The number of fatalities from accidental drowning increased dramatically from over 4,000 in 2019 to over 4,500 between 2020 and 2022.

This increase in drowning deaths especially for vulnerable groups is an alarming trend.

"I've seen firsthand the effects of drowning: families forced to say goodbye to their loved ones too soon," Dr. Debra Houry, chief medical officer for the CDC, said in a statement. "Understanding the barriers people face to accessing basic swimming and water safety skills training can help us better understand how to address those barriers, decrease drowning rates, and save lives."

The number of drowning deaths is the highest among individuals over 65 and children under 4. However, the age group of 1 to 4 has the highest total drowning rate.

When it comes to deaths in this age group, drowning is the most common cause of death. Furthermore, drowning rates are by far higher among Black people and Native Americans, including those who are Alaska Native.

One major cause of the increase in drowning deaths is the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the CDC. The pandemic led to decreased access to lifeguards, swimming lessons, and supervised swimming settings, it said.

The CDC recommends installing fencing around swimming pools in order to combat the drowning deaths. It also calls for children to be supervised in water. It advises the use of life jackets while boating.

It is also vital to address social and structural barriers to swimming and water safety training to reduce drowning rates.