The #1 Killer Of Toddlers Isn’t High Fructose Corn Syrup, It’s Drowning

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drowningModern parenting culture is pretty much defined by fear. Fear of “inviting” pedophiles. Fear of what might be lurking in your child’s lunchbox. And fear for whatever chemicals and toxins might be lingering in your children’s not organic clothes, food, etc. But while I’m all for skimming over the ingredients of bread and keeping tabs on what new crap is being pumped into your child’s lunches, it’s also worth acknowledging that the #1 killer of toddlers isn’t synthetic clothing or even a day’s worth of gummy bears. It’s drowning.

Reality check, mommies. The CDC reports that the leading cause of death in children under age four, other than birth defects, is a fatal fall into water:

Death rates were highest for children between ages 1 and 4. In this age group, about 2.5 deaths occurred for every 100,000 children in the population, the report said.  Overall, there were 1.3 deaths per 100,000 people in the United States. More than half of all people treated in emergency rooms for near drowning were less than 4 years old, the report said.

Boys apparently are more likely to drown than girls which does seem to give researchers pause. But one estimation is that the same cultural factors that have girls second-guessing their math capabilities just because their girls, endows boys with an overestimation of their swimming skills. The boys are then more likely to risk their safety.

Researchers discovered that formal swimming lessons reduced a child’s risk of drowning, as long as they learned the art of floating and treading water. Erecting fences around pools, and asking that your neighbor do the same, would also be a good measure to take in addition to opting for the organic fruit snacks.

(photo: Rufous/ Shutterstock)