What causes drowning in young children?

Updated: Jun 19, 2019
  • Author: G Patricia Cantwell, MD, FCCM; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
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Residential swimming pools are the most common venue. [10, 11, 12] The US Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that a swimming pool is 14 times more likely than a motor vehicle to be involved in the death of a child younger than 5 years.

Many residential pools have no physical barrier between the pool and the home. Open gates are involved in up to 70% of drownings in cases involving fenced-in pools. Pools may also be accessed through unlocked windows when the pool area abuts the house. [13]

A study from Australia on drowning in water tanks [14] and one from Bangladesh on drowning in ditches, canals, and ponds [15] illustrate that water exposure is both culturally and geographically related. Limiting access to such areas is an important target for prevention strategies.

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