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Cook Children's reports 17 drowning cases so far this year, the most since 2018

Any child who’s been submerged in water and has to go to the hospital for treatment is considered a "drowning," according to Cook Children’s.

FORT WORTH, Texas — Cook Children’s Medical Center said it has treated its most drowning cases this year, so far, since 2018.

“Unfortunately, this has been a tough year already,” pediatric emergency medicine physician Dr. Daniel Guzman said.

The hospital system has changed the way it describes drowning incidents, Dr. Guzman said. 

For kids who survive, instead of calling these cases “near-drownings,” any child who’s been submerged in the water and has to go to the hospital for treatment is considered a drowning, according to Cook Children’s.

Drownings are then categorized as fatal or non-fatal.

“I think definitely a ‘near-drowning’ makes people feel more complacent,” Dr. Guzman said. “I think when you hear the word ‘drowning,’ that becomes more significant in anybody's mind, right? That there was somebody (that) had to go to the hospital. There was some kind of negative effect as a result of being in the water.”

Data from Cook Children’s shows that from Jan. 1, 2022, to April 13, 2022, there have been 17 drownings. Three of those were fatal. 

The hospital said it's the most since 2018, when there were 13 drownings from Jan. 1, 2018, to May 1, 2018. 

Drownings from January 1-May 1

  • 2022 (Jan-April 13) = 17 (3 fatal)
  • 2021 = 8 (0 fatal)
  • 2020 = 10 (2 fatal)
  • 2019 = 9 (2 fatal)
  • 2018 = 13 (3 fatal)
  • 2017 = 9 (1 fatal)

“They lacked oxygen to their brain for a certain amount of time, which obviously changes who they are and what their development could potentially could be,” Dr. Guzman said. “Just because you survived it doesn't mean you survived it and you're back to normal.”

There were two drowning incidents involving adults on Sunday. 

In Grand Prairie, a man was reportedly swimming in Joe Pool Lake when he did not resurface. Grand Prairie Fire Department crews later recovered the man's body. 

Later Sunday night, one man drowned and another was taken to a hospital after they reportedly went for a swim in Lake Ray Hubbard, officials said.

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