Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Children's Health

Font Size

Danger Below the Surface: Identifying Where Children Drown

WebMD Health News

July 2, 2001 -- Summer and swimming go together as naturally as peanut butter and jelly. But with the fun comes responsibility, and even danger. Each year in the U.S., hundreds of kids drown, many of them needlessly.

A new study in the July issue of Pediatrics tries to help prevent children from drowning by discovering where they are at greatest risk.

"What we were most interested in ... was providing national data about the types of waters in which children were drowning, in specific age groups, to help guide intervention strategies," study author Ruth Brenner, MD, MPH, tells WebMD. Brenner is an investigator with the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, in Bethesda, Md.

Brenner and colleagues examined 1,420 death certificates of childhood drownings in 1995 in the U. S. Of those deaths, 47% occurred in freshwater, the most common sites being rivers, creeks, lakes and ponds; 32% died in swimming pools; 9% died in domestic sites (bathtubs and buckets); 8% were unspecified; and 4% died in salt water.

"We then looked at drownings by age groups and, in general, infants were most likely to drown in domestic sites, particularly bathtubs; toddlers in swimming pools; and older children in natural fresh waters," says Brenner.

There were, however some unexpected findings. "We also found that a sizeable proportion, about a quarter of those drownings among [1-4 years old], were in freshwater sites like ponds and rivers," says Brenner, debunking the notion that children under four are mainly in danger around pools. "And among adolescents, particularly among black males, there was a fair number of drownings that were occurring in swimming pools."

In fact, black adolescent boys over the age of 10 were 12 to 15 times more likely to drown in a pool than white boys of the same age. "From our data, we really can't say why," says Brenner.

While the study may not reveal "why" the drownings happened, it does reveal a course of action, according to Brenner. "Overall what this tells us is that we need a multifaceted approach to prevention, that no single strategy is going to prevent all of these drownings because they occur in such a variety of sites even within specific age groups," she says.

Today on WebMD

child with red rash on cheeks
What’s that rash?
plate of fruit and veggies
How healthy is your child’s diet?
smiling baby
Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
Middle school band practice
Understanding your child’s changing body.

worried kid
jennifer aniston
Measles virus
sick child

Child with adhd
rl with friends
Syringes and graph illustration