Affiliations: The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, and The Department of Pediatrics, Florida Hospital Tampa, Tampa, FL, USA
Note:  Corresponding author: James P. Orlowski, PICU, Florida Hospital Tampa, 3100 E. Fletcher Ave., Tampa, FL 33613, USA. E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: Objective. To determine if there is an increased risk of pediatric drowning accidents when visiting relatives or friends compared with the risk at home. Methods. Retrospective review of a database of 100 consecutive drowning accidents presenting to a community hospital in Tampa, Florida between July 1993 and July 2007. Results. Over a 14-year period of time, 100 drowning accidents presented to our hospital, of which 19 occurred while visiting family or friends from out-of-town. Sixty percent of the total drowning accidents involved males, whereas 68.5% of the visitor drowning accidents involved males. The overall mortality was 10% (10 out of 100) with all survivors having complete neurologic recovery, and 2/19 (10.5%) visiting victims did not survive. Factors associated with the visitor drowning accidents included lack of proper pool fencing, distraction of supervising adults, unfamiliarity with surroundings, and inability to swim. Conclusions. Nineteen percent of pediatric drowning accidents presenting to a community hospital in Tampa, Florida involved victims who were visiting relatives or friends from out of town. This represents a six-times increased risk when visiting family or friends compared to the risk of drowning at home. 79% of the visitor drowning incidents occurred in a home swimming pool of the friend or relative.
Keywords: Drowning, swimming pools, swimming, accident prevention, prevention of drowning, pediatric age group