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The Pediatric Forum
March 1, 2010

Swimming Proficiency in a Multiethnic Sample in a High-Risk Area for Drowning

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia (Dr Siano); and Division of Emergency Medicine, Miami Children's Hospital (Drs Siano, Banan, and Pena); and Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Clinical Research (Dr Messiah), and Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (Dr Arheart), University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2010;164(3):299-300. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2009.296

From 2000 to 2005, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Injury Prevention and Control reported that 6900 children younger than 20 years died of non–boating-related drowning accidents in the United States.1 Drowning remains the second leading cause of accidental death among children aged 1 to 14 years in the United States, after motor vehicle accidents.2 An American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) policy states that children are generally not developmentally ready for formal swimming lessons until after their fourth birthday.3 An estimated 5 to 10 million infants and preschoolers are reported to participate in formal aquatic instruction programs, and recent research shows that swimming instruction can be protective.46 The purpose of this study was to investigate swimming safety awareness among a sample of multiethnic families in a high-risk area for drowning accidents.

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