Study: Race plays role in drownings

Study shows African-American children are less likely to be able to swim

Published On: Jun 26 2012 06:39:18 AM CDT   Updated On: Jun 26 2012 07:30:20 AM CDT
kids at pool

Summer is just around the corner and that means more kids will be out of school and exposed to one of the leading causes of injury and death -- water.

According to the American Journal of Public Health, 75 percent of drowning victims are African-Americans or Islanders.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the fatal drowning rate of African-American children between the ages of 5 years old to 14 years old is three times that of white children in the same age range.

CDC researchers say physical environment and a combination of social and cultural issues factor into that increased risk.

Although her family hails from the island of Antigua, Sharonlyn Osouna said no one in her family knew how to swim. After facing the fear of lessons at the age of 12, Osouna decided her children would begin early.

Daughter Aaleyah is barely 2 years old.

"I have that peace of mind of knowing that when she's around water, she's going to be OK" said Osouna.

For information about swimming lessons, contact the YMCA of Greater Houston.