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Am J Public Health. 2006 Apr;96(4):728-33. Epub 2006 Feb 28.

Swimming pool drownings among US residents aged 5-24 years: understanding racial/ethnic disparities.

Author information

1
NICHD/NIH/DHHS, Division of Epidemiology, Statistics and Prevention Research, 6100 Executive Blvd, Rm 7B03 MSC 7510, Bethesda, MD 20892-7510, USA. salujag@mail.nih.gov

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

We examined circumstances surrounding swimming pool drownings among US residents aged 5 to 24 years to understand why Black males and other racial/ethnic groups have high drowning rates.

METHODS:

We obtained data about drowning deaths in the United States (1995-1998) from death certificates, medical examiner reports, and newspaper clippings collected by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.

RESULTS:

During the study period, 678 US residents aged 5 to 24 years drowned in pools. Seventy-five percent were male, 47% were Black, 33% were White, and 12% were Hispanic. Drowning rates were highest among Black males, and this increased risk persisted after we controlled for income. The majority of Black victims (51%) drowned in public pools, the majority of White victims (55%) drowned in residential pools, and the majority of Hispanic victims (35%) drowned in neighborhood pools (e.g., an apartment complex pool). Foreign-born males also had an increased risk for drowning compared with American-born males.

CONCLUSIONS:

Targeted interventions are needed to reduce the incidence of swimming pool drownings across racial/ethnic groups, particularly adult supervision at public pools.

PMID:
16507730
PMCID:
PMC1470565
DOI:
10.2105/AJPH.2004.057067
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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