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CDC Rates

• There is an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (nonboating related) in the United States every year.

• Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury death among children aged 1–4 years.

• Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death among children 5–9 years.

• More than 60% of fatal drownings of 0–4 year-olds occur in swimming pools.

• For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.

• More than 50% of drowning victims treated in emergency departments require hospitalization or transfer for further care (compared with a hospitalization rate of about 6% for all unintentional injuries).

These nonfatal drowning injuries can cause severe brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities and permanent loss of basic functioning (e.g., permanent vegetative state).

• Nearly 80% of people who die from drowning are male.

• African American children ages 5 to 19 drown in swimming pools at rates 5.5 times higher than those of whites.

This disparity is greatest among those 11-12 years, where African Americans drown in swimming pools at rates 10 times those of whites.

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