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A new study shows that black kids are still drowning at alarmingly high rates when compared to other children. Researchers say this means that black youth aren’t learning to swim and it’s having disastrous effects.
Researchers found that black children aged 5 to 19 dιed at a rate 5 times that of white kids of the same age. Dr. Julie Gilchrist of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lead author of the study, says this disparity is mainly cultural. Unlike whites, blacks tend to spend less time engaged in water sports.
This report is not new in its finding that black children die at higher rates than whites, but the study went more in depth than previous research projects by looking at both ages and where youths drown.
In whites, drowning rates are highest among toddlers but then the rates begin to decline. Blacks have a lower drowning rate for toddlers, but the rate does not decline as children grow older.
According to the CDC study, the black drowning rate was about 40 percent higher than the rate for whites. The drowning rate for Hispanic is about the same as that of whites. The drowning rate for Asians was slightly lower and highest of all was the rate for American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Also a thrεat is the rate of children being taken to hospitals for pool chemical related injuries. Another study found that half of those treated for injuries from pool chemicals were children.