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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW) – Two North Texas medical centers described a spike in accidental child drownings this summer as an epidemic. Halfway through the deadliest time of the year for drownings, at least 11 children have died in the region, and dozens more have been hospitalized.
Children’s Health in Dallas said it treated at least 15 children involved in drowning events during the last two weeks of June. Cook Children’s in Fort Worth posted online it had 26 cases in June, double the number from last year.
Jamie Pelletier, an injury prevention expert at Children’s Health, said what is reported is just a fraction of what’s actually happening.
“Because what we see here and what is reported to the state typically are the worst case scenarios,” she said. “Someone has died from a drowning event or they have required CPR on scene.”
Pelletier said she was paged for events seven times, last weekend alone.
The spike in cases she said could be connected somewhat to the region’s wet spring. Lakes are fuller than they have been in years. Streams and rivers are moving deceptively fast.
State numbers though show most deaths are still happening in swimming pools, and Pelletier said she’s found as many as 30-percent of incidents are clustered in North Texas, something she is currently studying.
Boys have accounted for seventy-five percent of the deaths so far this year in Texas. That’s a trend that continues into adulthood, with some studies suggesting males often overestimate their swimming abilities.
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