The summer that her family bought a soft-sided pool, Charisse Nurnberg of Assaria, Kansas, tried to keep her children safe from water-related injuries. She kept all the doors locked and would even have her young son Matt wear a life jacket while he played inside.
But one day in August 2002, 3-year-old Matt got into the pool unsupervised. An ambulance rushed him to the hospital, but it was too late. He had drowned.
"You don't think it can happen to you, you think you've got things under control, and it just happens to other people," Charisse Nurnberg said. "It is just, I think, probably about the most horrible experience a parent can live through."
New reports from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that deaths by unintentional injury, such as drowning, are a growing problem worldwide. More than 950,000 of those younger than 18 are killed annually by injury or violence; about 830,000 of them die from unintentional injury.
"Even for those of us working in the field, we were taken aback by that number," said Dr. Adnan Hyder, associate professor at Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health and one of the editors for the WHO report. "Some of that is an underestimate, frankly speaking." Read full article »