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U.S. Drowning Deaths Rising Again After Years of Decline

TUESDAY, May 14, 2024 (HeathDay News) -- Following decades of declines, drowning deaths are once again climbing in the United States, new government data shows.

More than 4,500 people died from drowning each year in 2020 through 2022, 500 more per year than in 2019, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.

Increased access to basic swimming lessons...

Hundreds of U.S. Kids Drown Every Year -- Learn How to Protect Yours

Drowning is the leading cause of death among children aged 1 to 4 years old in the United States, and too many older children continue to die in the water, according to a new report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

A child can slip underwater in the seconds it takes a parent to send a text message. Or while a caregiver turns away to pick up a smartphone.


Get in the Swim: Summer Pool Safety Tips

Summer is here and so, too, is swimming season.

As fun as a pool can be, it's also a major safety risk if you don't take the appropriate precautions.

An expert from Huntington Health, an affiliate of Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, offers some tips for a safe pool season.

"If children or non-experienced swimmers will be in the pool, it's very important to have adult supervisio...

Swimmers Face a Little Known Danger: Fluid on the Lungs

The swimmer came to shore struggling to breathe and coughing up blood.

A keen competitive long-distance swimmer and triathlete, the woman was fit and healthy when she started a nighttime open water swim event.

But a couple weeks earlier, she'd had breathing difficulties during another open water swim that had forced her to abandon the event. She'd felt breathless for days after.


Race Plays Big Role in Whether Kids Learn to Swim

Black children and teens drown in swimming pools at rates seven times higher than white children, but a new survey suggests that special swimming programs could make a difference and help save lives.

The survey, from the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, found that only 25% of Hispanic parents and 28% of Black parents were comfortable with their own swimming ski...

Summer Swim? Watch Out for 'Swimmer's Ear'

When weather gets hot and people start jumping into a pool, lake or ocean, cases of swimmer's ear are likely to climb, but one expert says there are steps you can take to avoid the painful condition.

The best prevention is a simple one: avoid getting water in your ears, s...

Pandemic Means Many Kids Didn't Get Lifesaving Swim Lessons

Many children missed out on potentially lifesaving swimming lessons during the pandemic, so parents should enroll them in classes as soon as possible, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends.

"Drowning is the single leading cause of injury death for children ages 1 to 4, and it's one of the top causes ...

1 Dirty Pool, Many Cases of E. Coli: Summer's Swimming Danger

As the weather warms and families flock to pools, dirty water may dampen the fun.

Swimmers at a Pennsylvania community pool learned that the hard way when in June 2021 more than a dozen kids were seriously sickened by two types of bacteria, E. coli and

  • Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter
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  • May 23, 2022
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  • Full Page
  • Some Health Conditions Greatly Raise Drowning Risks

    With summer comes warm weather and swimming. But for some people, knowing how to swim may not be enough to ensure their safety.

    That's because certain medical conditions bump up the risk for drowning in a big way, according to a new Canadian study.

    About one in three adults and children over age 10 who drowned in Canada between 2007 and 2016 had a chronic health condition, the stud...

    Bystanders Can Make the Difference for a Drowning Child

    A drowning child has a much lower risk of severe disability or death if a bystander steps in, even without cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), new research finds.

    "Bystanders play a critical role in preventing poor outcomes in childhood drowning by instituting safe, early and effective rescue and resuscitation of pediatric drowning victims," said author Dr. Rohit Shenoi, an attending phy...

    Could Kids Swim Their Way to Better Vocabularies?

    Kids may be able to swim their way to a deeper vocabulary.

    That's the takeaway from a study in which researchers taught 48 kids ages 6 to 12 a few new words before they swam, did CrossFit-type exercises or coloring.

    The swimmers did 13% better in follow up tests of the new words -- an outcome that did not surprise study author Madison Pruitt, a former college swimmer who conducted t...

    Drowning Deaths for U.S. Kids Have Fallen 38% Since 1999

    There's some good news as millions of American children head back to the nations' lakes, beaches and pools: Newly released numbers for 1999 through 2019 show steady progress in reducing the number of young lives lost to drowning.

    "Over the past two decades, the rate of unintentional drowning deaths among children aged 0 to 17 years declined 38%, from 1.6 per 100,000 in 1999 to 1.0 in 2019...

    Summer Drowning Deaths Can Happen Quickly: Know the Facts

    The best way to prevent drowning in children and teens is to guard against the danger on multiple fronts, a leading pediatricians' group says.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released its "Prevention of Drowning" report online this week, which notes that about 70% of drowning deaths for U.S. children aged 15 and younger occur between May and August.

    The report includes the ...

    Why Do So Many Kids Never Get Swimming Lessons?

    Cost and lack of time are among the reasons parents don't enroll their kids in swimming lessons, a new survey finds.

    "Swimming is one of the most important life-saving skills that children and adults should master. Whether for fun or for exercise, swimming will serve them well for the rest of their lives, and it's never too early to start learning," said Dr. Matthew Davis, chair of medici...

    Child Drownings in U.S. Pools, Spas Are on the Rise

    Pool and spa drowning deaths among U.S. children are spiking upwards, and restrictions related to the COVID pandemic may also mean that fewer kids are getting the swimming lessons that might keep them safe, the Consumer Product Safety Commission warns.

    On average, there were about 400 reported pool/spa drowning deaths among children younger than age 15 each year from 2016 through 2018, ac...

    Summer Water Fun Can Bring Drowning Risks: Stay Safe

    As you seek to cool down in a pool or at the beach this summer, always keep water safety for yourself and others in mind, an expert urges.

    "With children, I always recommend starting swim lessons at an early age and having parents put on floaties or life vests on their children when near any water. Parents should also never let their kids swim alone without supervision and ensure they're ...

    Summer Safety Tips for the Great Outdoors

    As you head into the great outdoors this summer, keep safety in mind, an expert says.

    Drowning is one of summer's risks. It only takes a few seconds and can happen without an obvious struggle, according to Dr. Seth Hawkins, a wilderness medicine expert and assistant professor of emergency medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, N.C.

    Adults must always closely superv...

    Healthy Living in Middle Age Really Pays Off in Senior Years

    Live well, live longer.

    New research offers more evidence that the mantra rings true: People who got regular exercise and ate a healthy diet in middle age had a reduced risk of serious health problems as seniors.

    "Health care professionals could use these findings to further promote and emphasize to their patients the benefits of a healthy diet and a regular exercise schedule t...

    Astronauts Will Need Tough Workouts on Any Mission to Mars

    As NASA astronauts set their sights on reaching Mars and building an outpost on the moon, they are likely to need regular, rigorous exercise to keep their hearts in shape, a new study suggests.

    Researchers analyzed data gathered from U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly during his year in space from 2015 to 2016 and from Benoît Lecomte's attempt to swim across the Pacific Ocean in 2018. Investigat...

    Sleepless After Bypass Surgery? Try a Morning Walk

    If you have trouble sleeping after heart bypass surgery, regular morning walks may provide relief, a new study suggests.

    "Many patients have trouble sleeping after heart bypass surgery," said researcher Dr. Hady Atef, of Cairo University in Egypt.

    "When this persists beyond six months, it exacerbates the heart condition and puts patients at risk of having to repeat the surg...

    Don't Get Sick While Swimming This Summer

    Swimming and summer are practically synonymous, but getting sick from bacteria in lakes, rivers and the ocean can spoil the fun, U.S. health officials warn.

    Since 2009, nearly 120 disease outbreaks in 31 states have been tied to untreated recreational water. But being aware of potential harms and taking precautions can help keep you healthy while you cool off, according to a new repor...

    Outdoor Swimming Pools Not a COVID-19 Risk: Expert

    Swimming pools in many parts of the United States may reopen soon, and Americans can take comfort in knowing that taking a dip should pose little risk of coronavirus infection.

    However, there could be risks at indoor pools from crowds, poor air circulation, and contaminated surfaces such as handrails, according to Ernest Blatchley III, a professor of environmental and ecological engin...

    During the Pandemic, How Safe Is the Great American Summer Vacation?

    Memorial Day is fast approaching, summer travel plans have mostly been wrecked by the COVID-19 pandemic, and people are climbing the walls.

    Is there any way you can get out of your house and have a little bit of fun, without running a huge risk of contracting the COVID-19 coronavirus?

    Experts say yes -- if you maintain the social distancing rules that everyone absorbed durin...

    Even a Little Activity Keeps Aging Brains From Shrinking, Study Shows

    Take a walk, weed your garden, go for a swim or dance -- it could keep your brain from shrinking as you age, a new study suggests.

    Being physically active may keep your brain four years younger than the rest of you, which might help prevent or slow the progression of dementias like Alzheimer's disease, researchers say.

    "We recently published a paper using information of bo...

    What's Source of 'Stinging Water'? Jellyfish Release Toxic Mucus

    The mystery of "stinging water" has been solved, scientists say.

    Stinging water is the seawater near and around upside-down jellyfish (Cassiopea) -- and swimmers can get stinging, itchy skin while submerged in it, even if they have no direct contact with the creatures themselves.

    But it wasn't clear in the past if the jellyfish were to blame for this discomfort, since...

    Would Tighter Swimming Rules at Public Beaches, Lakes and Rivers Save Lives?

    Drowning death rates at public beaches, lakes and rivers are three to four times lower in states with tighter rules for swimming in such locations, a new U.S. study finds.

    Researchers analyzed U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data to focus on the 20 states with the highest rates and the 10 states with the lowest rates of drowning deaths among people over age 5. Open wat...

    Parkinson's Treatment Has Unexpected Side Effect

    Some Parkinson's patients who have a deep brain stimulation device implanted to control their symptoms have reported an odd side effect -- they lost the ability to swim.

    Researchers report on the cases of nine patients who were still good swimmers even after they were diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. After they had deep brain stimulation surgery, their Parkinson's symptoms improved...

    'Swimmer's Shoulder' Strikes 3 in 4 Teen Competitors

    It's called swimmer's shoulder, and it's an overuse injury that three-quarters of teen swimmers suffer from, new research shows.

    The study authors also found that many young swimmers with shoulder pain believe it's just part of being competitive and successful.

    For the study, researchers surveyed 150 high school and youth club competitive swimmers, aged 13 to 18, and found ...

    Ocean Swimming Causes Skin Changes: Study

    The population of bacteria on your skin changes when you swim in the ocean, potentially increasing your risk of infection, researchers report.

    They collected samples of skin bacteria from the legs of nine people before they took a 10-minute swim in the ocean, after they had air-dried completely following their swim, and then six and 24 hours after their swim.

    Before swimming...

    Pool Chemicals Harm Thousands Every Summer

    Swimming pools are one of the great joys of summer, but U.S. health officials warn that the chemicals that keep the water pristine can land you in the ER.

    Between 2008 and 2017, there were more than 4,500 pool chemical-related injuries reported each year, a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.

    "Summer is a great time to enjoy the pool wi...

    How to Protect Your Kids From Drowning

    Drowning can be swift and silent, making it a leading cause of accidental death among children.

    To help parents protect their kids in and around the water, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has updated its water safety recommendations.

    Drowning is the third-leading cause of accidental injury-related death among 5- to 19-year-olds. Nearly 1,000 children in the United S...

    Don't Fear, Shark Attacks Remain Rare

    Shark attacks get plenty of media attention and strike fear into the hearts of swimmers, but a new study finds that such attacks are few and far between.

    It's true that the number of shark attacks has increased over time, but the rate is still very low, researchers said.

    "Humans have always demonized sharks because they are elusive and live in an environment that's not nativ...