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July 17, 1954


JAMA. 1954;155(12):1062-1063. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.03690300040008

This is the time of the year when vacation-minded Americans should begin to give some thought to one of the major perils associated with swimming, wading, and boating—accidental drowning. According to a recent study,1 accidental drownings in the United States annually account for more than 6,500 deaths, or a rate of about 4 per 100,000 population. Although a sizable number of drownings occurs every season of the year, the toll is heaviest during the summer, when outdoor recreational activities are at their peak.

Most victims of drowning are males; the death rate from accidental drowning among males in 1949-1950 was more than six times that among females. This is undoubtedly due to the greater spirit for venture, often foolhardy, among the so-called stronger sex. The highest death rate from drowning, 12.5 per 100,000, was recorded for boys in the 15 to 19-year-old group, but the rates were also relatively high

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