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CDC: Drowning Deaths Down Overall, but Still a Problem

Rates increased for adults 45 to 84; children 4 and under and adults 85 and older at highest risk

TUESDAY, April 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Drowning deaths are still a problem in the United States, even though overall deaths from drowning are down, according to a report published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's April edition of the National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief.

In the study, the researchers looked at the years 1999 through 2010. In all, more than 46,000 people died from unintentional drowning during that time, including boating accidents. The researchers also computed drowning death rates for every 100,000 people by age brackets for the 12-year period, finding the biggest increase in rates among those aged 45 to 84. At highest risk for drowning are still children under age 5 and adults aged 85 and older. Those aged 5 to 19 were least likely to drown.

Locations of the drowning varied by age, the findings showed. Drowning happened most often in a bath tub for those under age 1 and age 85 and above. The swimming pool was the most likely place of death for children aged 1 to 4. Those aged 5 to 84 were most likely to drown in natural water settings.

"The CDC report highlights the need for qualified supervision in all aquatic settings, especially natural water," Tom Gill, a spokesperson for the U.S. Lifesaving Association, told HealthDay.

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