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1999 to 2019 Saw Drop in Rate of Unintentional Drowning Deaths

Last Updated: July 15, 2021.

THURSDAY, July 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- From 1999 to 2019, there was a 38 percent decrease in the rate of unintentional drowning deaths among children, according to a July data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics.

Merianne Rose Spencer, M.P.H., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, and colleagues used data from the National Vital Statistics System to examine national trends in unintentional drowning death rates for children aged 0 to 17 years from 1999 through 2019.

The researchers found that from 1999 to 2019, there was a 38 percent decrease in the rate of unintentional drowning among children aged 0 to 17 years, from 1.6 to 1.0 per 100,000. Children aged 1 to 4 years had the highest unintentional drowning death rates, which decreased from 3.2 to 2.4. Unintentional drowning death rates were higher for non-Hispanic Black children than for non-Hispanic White and Hispanic children in 1999 to 2019. During this period, children in rural versus urban communities had higher unintentional drowning death rates. The highest percentage of unintentional drowning deaths occurred in bathtubs, swimming pools, and natural bodies of water for children younger than 1 year, ages 1 to 4 and 5 to 13 years, and ages 14 to 17 years, respectively, during 2018 to 2019.

"This report highlights differences in unintentional drowning death rates among children aged 0 to 17 years by sex, age group, race and ethnicity, urban-rural county of residence, and place of drowning," the authors write.

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