Citation Spencer MR, Hedegaard H, Warner M. NCHS Data Brief 2021; (413): 1-8.
Copyright (Copyright © 2021, United States National Center for Health Statistics)
Abstract “Key findings
Data from the National Vital Statistics System, Mortality
Over the past 2 decades, the rate of unintentional drowning deaths among children aged 0–17 years declined 38%, from 1.6 per 100,000 in 1999 to 1.0 in 2019.
Unintentional drowning death rates among children were highest for those aged 1–4, with rates decreasing from 3.2 in 1999 to 2.4 in 2019.
In 1999–2019, unintentional drowning death rates were higher for non-Hispanic black children compared with non-Hispanic white and Hispanic children.
For the period, unintentional drowning death rates were higher for children in rural compared with urban counties.
During 2018–2019, the highest percentage of unintentional drowning deaths occurred in bathtubs for ages under 1 year, in swimming pools for ages 1–4 and 5–13, and in natural bodies of water for ages 14–17.
Drowning deaths are the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for children aged 0-17 years and the leading cause for those aged 1-4 (1). Previous studies using national data have shown that unintentional drowning deaths can differ by sex, age, race and ethnicity, and urban-rural category (2,3). This report uses the latest mortality data from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) to present national trends in unintentional drowning death rates from 1999 through 2019 for children aged 0-17.
This report highlights differences in unintentional drowning death rates among children aged 0–17 years by sex, age group, race and ethnicity, urban–rural county of residence, and place of drowning. Overall, unintentional drowning death rates decreased from 1.6 per 100,000 in 1999 to 1.0 in 2019. Rates were higher for males than for females throughout the period. In 2019, the rate for males (1.4) was roughly twice that for females (0.6). While death rates declined for all age groups from 1999 through 2019, the rate for those aged 1–4 remained more than double the rates for other age groups. Throughout the period, rates were higher for non-Hispanic black children than for non-Hispanic white or Hispanic children. Rates were also consistently higher for children living in rural counties compared with urban counties. In 2018–2019, the place of drowning varied by age group. The greatest percentage of deaths occurred in bathtubs for those under 1 year, in swimming pools for those aged 1–4 and 5–13, and in natural bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, streams, and oceans for those aged 14–17.”
Dorothy A. Drago, MA, MPH
11 Brookside Ave.
Plymouth, MA 02360