Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Six Teens' Drowning A Reminder Of Swimming Disparity

Six Teens' Drowning A Reminder Of Swimming Disparity
August 3, 2010

If there's sadder news than the story of six teens — three children from one family and three from another — drowning in the Red River in Shreveport, La., it's hard to imagine what it could be.

The youngsters, none of whom could swim, were at a river side picnic at a local park and apparently went wading in the water when some got into trouble as the river bottom dropped away.

Other youngsters who attempted to help them, couldn't swim either, adding immensely to the tragedy.

The story is a reminder of one of the safety related disparities that exist in the U.S.; young blacks are victims of unintentional drowning at significantly higher rates than white of like age.

In 2008, USA Swimming commissioned a study to examine the issue and found that the ability to swim correlated strongly with household income and whether parents themselves could swim.

The study found that nearly 60 percent of black children couldn't swim safely compared with 31 percent of white children...

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