Rate of child drowning hospitalizations decreasing: study

January 18, 2012

Baltimore – The estimated rate of children hospitalized due to drowning incidents declined 49 percent between 1993 and 2008, according to a study from the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Arkansas Children's Hospital Injury Prevention Center.

Researchers analyzed information from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample – an inpatient care hospital database – and found that nonfatal drowning rates declined in both males and females. However, boys were found to be 4 to 6 times more likely than girls to experience a drowning injury, which researchers attributed to an overestimation of swimming abilities and the increased use of alcohol in adolescent males.

In the United States, drowning accounts for nearly 1,100 deaths among 1- to 19-year-olds each year. For every pediatric drowning death, an additional two children are hospitalized after nonfatal drowning injuries, according to a press release from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The study was published in Pediatrics, a journal published by AAP.