In the U.S., drowning accounts for nearly 1,100 deaths of children aged 1 to 19 years each year.
That makes it the second leading cause of unintentional injury death in this age group.
But not every drowning results in fatality. Some children survive a drowning…but doesn’t always mean a full recovery for the victim.
Lesia Crawford, of Phoenix, tells the story of how her younger brother, Andrew Hill, survived after falling in to a swimming pool- and what his life is like now, many years later.
For every pediatric drowning death, another two children are hospitalized after nonfatal drowning injuries.
And in Arizona, warm weather, long summers, and thousands of residential swimming pools that do not need to be drained in winter contribute to tragic water-related accidents among young children.
But there is good news.
Research results that will be released in the February 2012 issue of Pediatrics (published online Jan. 16), found rates of pediatric hospitalizations associated with drowning actually declined 49 percent during the study period, from 4.7 hospitalizations per 100,000, to 2.4 per 100,000.
The hospitalization rate for boys remained consistently higher than the rate for girls, though rates declined for all age groups and for both males and females.
Hospitalization rates decreased across all geographic regions of the U.S., with the greatest decline occurring in southern states.
The American Association of Pediatrics (check out their re-designed website) says that the study offers benchmarks that can be used to judge future efforts in drowning prevention and to target interventions to high-risk areas.