In 2004, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 3308 unintentional, fatal drownings. That is an average of 9 lives lost per day. Boat-related deaths accounted for an additionally 676 drownings.
For every child under 14 who drowns – 5 others are treated at hospitals, some unable to regain their lives because of severe brain damage.
While in self-report studies men consistently reported more swimming ability than women, the hard numbers show that as men age they are more at risk of drowning in natural water settings, especially where alcohol is present. Men lead in so many of life’s statistics, and they can be risk-takers, so perhaps it is not surprising that of the unintentional, fatal drownings 76% were men.
Another group at risk seems more intuitive, as unintentional fatal drownings are the second leading cause of death in children ages 1-14. Surprisingly, most of the young pool drowning victims had only been out of sight for less than 5 minutes.
Additionally, responsible ‘fun in the sun’ activities require you to be good to your skin! Skin cancer can devastate your life. While many people like to get a head start on their summer tan by burning a couple of times medical experts say that after burning only 5 times your risk of skin cancer doubles. Be sure to use a good sun screen; stay out of direct sun if possible during the hours of 10-4, as the sun’s damaging rays are more potent during these hours. See your family doctor or dermatologist at least once a year for a complete body examination. Melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer has been known to kill a person who did not notice a mole between their toes or behind their ear. Your skin is the largest organ in your body-take care of it!
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