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US drowning deaths rising for first time in decades

todayMay 27, 2024 3

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The U.S. generally has about 4,000 drowning deaths per year, but that number has risen dramatically over the past four years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.After decades of decreasing drowning rates, deaths jumped by 500 – more than 10% – in 2020, the CDC said in a recent report. An average of 4,500 Americans died by drowning annually from 2020 through 2022.VETERAN SURFER DESCRIBES DROWNING IN GREAT LAKESThe most radical jump was among young kids. Death rates for kids 1- to 4-year-olds soared 28.9% in 2021 compared to 2019, which is indicative of the long-term average. Drowning was already the leading cause of death for kids between 1 and 4 years old. The number of children who die by drowning each year could fill 11 school buses, according to the National Drowning Prevention Alliance. For every fatal drowning, there are 7 to 8 victims seen in emergency rooms for non-fatal drownings.The rate also jumped by 31.3% in 2020 for young adults between 15 and 24 years old. Drowning is a top three killer for Americans between the ages of 5 and 34. SWIM SAFETY: DON’T LET YOUR KIDS WEAR THIS COLOR IN THE POOLFor seniors through age 74, the rate rose by 19.1% in 2022. The rate exploded by 49.8% for seniors older than 85 in 2021. The CDC noted that the rate of drowning deaths for the over 65 group has been increasing for decades. In 2021, the number of males who died from drowning jumped by 22.2%. Males steadily outpaced women in drownings by around three to one, both pre- and post-pandemic.Drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. About 236,000 people die by drowning each year.TOP DANGERS TO WATCH OUT FOR AT THE BEACH THIS SUMMERCDC analysts blame the increase in deaths on the pandemic.”During the COVID-19 pandemic, persons spent more recreational time in or near water, and availability of supervised swimming settings was limited,” the study stated.The CDC suggested swimming lessons, including water safety skills, can reverse the upward trend.”No one should have to lose a loved one to drowning. Improving access to effective prevention strategies, like basic swimming and water safety skills training, can reduce drowning risk,” Tessa Clemens, health scientist in CDC’s Division of Injury Prevention and lead author of the report, said in a statement.HOW TO WATCH FOX WEATHERThe study found that 40 million Americans reported that they don’t know how to swim, 15.4% of all adults. Over half of American adults said they have never taken a swim lesson.Understanding why people avoid the water as well as developing more culturally sensitive swim classes will be future areas of study based on this report.”CDC’s drowning prevention experts collected high-quality drowning data to better understand how we can protect people in communities across the United States,” said the CDC’s Chief Medical Officer Debra Houry. “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 CDC provided the following tips to prevent drowning.

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