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DROWNING AND AQUATIC INJURY FACTS

The following statistics were taken from the 2001 issue of Accident Facts, published by the National Safety Council. They are based on death and injury statistics from 1998.

Heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and unintentional injuries were the leading causes of death in the United States. Unintentional injuries were the leading cause of death for individuals aged 1 to 38. Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death among persons in age groups from 1 to 38. Among persons of all ages, unintentional injuries are the fifth leading cause of death. For children in the 5 to 14 year age group, unintentional injuries claim more than three times as many lives as the next leading cause of death, accounting for almost 42% of the 7,791 total deaths of these persons. Approximately 60% of the victims in this age group are males. Motor vehicle incidents, falls, poisoning by solids and liquids, drownings, and choking were the leading causes of unintentional injury death. Motor vehicle incidents were the leading cause of unintentional injury death overall and the leading cause of unintentional injury death from age 1 to 77.

Drownings were the fourth leading cause of unintentional injury death. Drowning fatalities reached a high of 188 for 1-year-olds and were the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for ages 1 to 4, 6 to 18, and 20.For children and youths aged 1 to 24 years, unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death, accounting for more than 42% of the 43,669 total deaths of these persons. Overall, motor vehicle incidents were the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for this age group, followed by drowning, solid and liquid poisonings, and fires and burns.There were 4,406 drownings, of which males accounted for 3,575 (81%) and females for 831.

Under Age 5 - 559
Ages 5 to 14 - 444
Ages 15 to 24- 821
Ages 25 to 44 - 1323
Ages 45 to 64 - 706
Ages 65 to 74 - 241
Ages 75 & over 312
Note: For every drowning, there are 6 to 10 near-drowning
incidents resulting in permanent neurological impairment.

The following represents an estimate of the number of participants and injuries related to aquatic activities.

Swimming
57,900,000 participants / 99,691 injuries associated with swimming,
swimming pools, pool slides, diving or diving boards, and swimming pool equipment:

0 - 4 age group 11.8%
5 - 14 age group 43.8%
15 - 24 age group 17.4%
25 - 64 age group 24.3%
65 & over age group 2.7%

Fishing
46,700,000 participants / 70,514 injuries

Scuba Diving
2,300,000 participants / 1,542 injuries

Water Skiing
6,600,000 participants / 12,639 injuries.

According to the United States Coast Guard, deaths associated with recreational boating numbered 734 in the United States and its territories. Drowning accounted for 517 of the deaths. The Coast Guard estimates that about 450 boaters who drowned could have been saved by wearing a life jacket. Alcohol was reported to be involved in 191 (26%) of the deaths.

Floods, which include flash floods, river floods, and urban/small stream floods, accounted for 68 deaths, 7% of the total weather-related fatalities. North Carolina recorded the highest number of flood fatalities with 24, followed by Pennsylvania and New Jersey with 6 fatalities each. Many of the deaths categorized as "in water" were due to being swept away by current after leaving a stalled vehicle. Flash floods accounted for 60 fatalities while river floods caused the remaining 8.

Lightning was responsible for 46 deaths and 243 injuries, which were about 20% below the 10-year fatality average of 57. Florida ranked highest with five deaths, followed by North Carolina with four. Of those who died, 24 were outside, 9 were under a tree, and 6 were in boats.

Thirty-two outbreaks of waterborne disease from 18 states were attributed to recreational water exposure (swimming pools, lakes, and ponds) and affected over 2,000 people. Eighteen of the 32 were outbreaks of gastroenteritis. Ten of the 18 gastroenteritis outbreaks were associated with treated pools (e.g. chlorinated pools) and most of the outbreaks were related to human fecal contaminants.

LEADING CAUSES OF DEATH IN THE UNITED STATES ALL AGES

1. Heart Disease
2. Cancer
3. Stroke
4. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
5. Unintentional Injuries
        Motor vehicle
        Falls
        Poison
        Drowning
        Ingestion of food, object

All other unintentional injuries UNDER 1 YEAR

1. Certain Conditions Originating in Perinatal Period
2. Congenital Anomalies
3. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
4. Unintentional Injuries
        Mechanical Suffocation
        Motor vehicle
        Ingestion of food, object
        Drowning
        Fire, Burns
       All other unintentional injuries
5. Heart Disease


1 TO 4 YEARS
1. Unintentional Injuries
        Motor vehicle
        Drowning
        Fires, Burns
        Ingestion of food, object
        Mechanical suffocation
        All other unintentional injuries
2. Congenital anomalies
3. Homicide and legal intervention
4. Cancer
5. Heart disease

5 TO 14 YEARS
1. Unintentional injuries
       Motor vehicle
       Drowning
       Fires, burns
       Firearms
       Mechanical suffocation
       All other unintentional injuries
2. Cancer
3. Homicide
4. Congenital anomalies
5. Heart disease
6. Suicide

15 TO 24 YEARS
1. Unintentional injuries
       Motor vehicle
       Drowning
       Poison (solids/liquids)
       Firearms
       Falls
      All other unintentional injuries
2. Homicide or legal intervention
3. Suicide
4. Cancer
5. Heart disease
6. Congenital anomalies
7. Chronic obstructed pulmonary disease

25 TO 34 YEARS
1. Unintentional injuries
        Motor vehicle
        Poison (solid/liquids)
        Drowning
        Falls
        Fires/burns
       All other unintentional injuries
2. Suicide
3. Homicide
4. Cancer
5. Heart disease
6. HIV
7. Stroke

35 TO 44 YEARS
1. Cancer
2. Unintentional injuries
        Motor vehicle
        Poison (solids/liquids)
        Falls
        Drowning
        Fires, burns
        All other unintentional injuries
3. Heart disease
4. Suicide
5. HIV
6. Homicide
7. Chronic liver disease
8. Stroke
9. Diabetes

45 TO 54 YEARS
1. Cancer
2. Heart disease
3. Unintentional injuries
        Motor vehicle
        Poison
        Falls
        Drowning
        Fires, burns
       All other
4. Chronic liver disease
5. Stroke
6. Suicide
7. Diabetes A.

TO 64 YEARS
1. Cancer
2. Heart disease
3. Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases
4. Stroke
5. Diabetes
6. Unintentional injuries
         Motor vehicle
         Falls
         Poison
         Surgical, medical complications
         Fires, burns
7. Chronic liver disease

DROWNING BY MONTH

1. July
2. June
3. August
4. May
5. September
6. April
7. March
8. October
9. February
10. January
11. November
12. December

 

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