Research Brief: Sandcastles more dangerous than sharks

People falling into holes dug in the sand have accounted for more deaths in the US since 1990 than shark attacks, according to US research. There were 16 deaths from falling in holes in the sand compared to 12 deaths from shark attacks. The holes, which are often a by-product of children making sandcastles, can catch people completely unawares and have encouraged lifeguards in Massachusetts to stop children digging deep holes in the sand (N Engl J Med Online 2007).

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