MMWR News Synopsis for May 15, 2014
Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Fatal Unintentional Drownings among Persons Aged ≤29 Years — United States, 1999–2010
CDC Media Relations
Swimming pool drowning rates for black children, adolescents, and young adults are higher than those for other race/ethnicities. CDC found that drowning risk is significantly higher among American Indians/Alaska Natives and blacks <30 years of age. Based on an analysis of 12 years of data, the study concluded that the drowning rate for American Indians/Alaska Natives 0-29 years is twice the rate for whites, and the drowning rate for blacks is 1.4 times the rate for whites. Disparities are greatest in swimming pools, with swimming pool drowning rates among blacks 5-19 years 5.5 times higher than those of whites. Drowning prevention strategies include basic swimming skills, barriers such as fencing, active supervision or lifeguards, life jackets, and bystander CPR. Practicality and effectiveness of these strategies varies by setting; however, basic swimming skills can be beneficial across all settings.
Pool Chemical–Associated Health Events in Public and Residential Settings — United States, 2003–2012, and Minnesota, 2013
CDC Media Relations
Residential pool owners and public pool operators can follow simple yet effective steps to prevent pool chemical injuries. Pool chemicals are added to the water to kill germs. However, pool chemicals can cause injuries when handled or stored improperly. In 2012, almost 5,000 people visited an emergency room (ER) for pool chemical injuries. Almost half of patients (46.9 percent) were less than 18 years old. Over a third (36.1 percent) of the injuries occurred at a residence. People are often injured when they handle pool chemicals without using safety equipment, such as goggles and masks, or when they enter the water just after pool chemicals are added. In 2013, after attending a pool party in Minnesota,seven children and one adult developed rashes and symptoms of respiratory illness and went to an ER. The cause of the incident was determined to be to inadequate monitoring of water chemistry or inadequate response to bad water chemistry readings.