Growing Populations of Sharks Along With Limited Swimming Skills Pose Safety Risk This Summer

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    In 2014, almost 21 million American households owned a spa, pool, or hot tub. But now that warm weather is approaching, those who do not have their own way to cool off are headed to the beach despite recent safety concerns.

    Vacationers on both sides of the nation experienced terror at their beaches over the Memorial Day weekend with multiple reports of shark attacks.

    In Newport Beach, CA, a woman was found bleeding profusely from two bite marks in her torso. Meanwhile, on Neptune Beach in Florida, a six-foot long shark bit a 13-year-old boy was bit on his calf.

    And experts are now warning that the shark population on the East coast specifically is growing rapidly. Along with the rising number of people living on the coast from Florida to Delaware, this equation can lead to potential fatalities.

    According to the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA), the U.S coastal population is set to grow to 134 million people by 2020 from 123 million in 2013. Additionally, the NOAA Fisheries Service found that shark populations are increasing, up a 55% increase since 2012.

    On top of these increased dangers, experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have released statistics showing the racial disparities between blacks and whites when it comes to safe swim education.

    The CDC analyzed 12 years of drowning data for people 29 years and younger and found that black Americans drown at a higher rate than any other demographic.

    Reported on the Indianapolis Recorder, the CDC stated, “Disparities were greatest in swimming pools, with swimming pool drowning rates among Blacks aged 5-19 years 5.5 times higher than those among whites in the same age group.”

    This USA swimming study found that some reasons for this disparity is the lack of swimming involvement and encouragement from parents, the fear of injury, and concern over the impacts harsh pool chemicals could have on their skin and hair.