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Drowning leading cause of child death

ATLANTA, May 29 (UPI) -- An average of 3,880 U.S. adults and children die each year due to fatal drowning, federal health officials said.

The report, by the Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention, estimated 5,789 were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms each year for non-fatal drowning.

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CDC researchers analyzed death certificate data from the National Vital Statistics System and injury data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System -- All Injury Program for 2005 to 2009 and found drowning was the leading cause of injury death among children ages 1-4.

"Death rates and non-fatal injury rates were highest among children age 4 and younger; these children most commonly drowned in swimming pools," the report said.

"The drowning death rate among males 2.07 per 100,000 population was approximately four times that for females 0.54 per population."

To prevent drowning, all parents and children should learn survival swimming skills, CDC officials said. In addition, parents should:

-- Ensure environmental protections such as an isolation pool fences and lifeguards are in place.

-- Avoid alcohol when swimming, boating, water skiing, or supervising children.

-- Ensure life jackets are used by all boaters and weaker swimmers.

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-- Ensure caregivers and supervisors have training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

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