Every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States.
- From 2005-2009, an average of over 3,500 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) each year in the United States. In other words – about ten deaths per day. An additional 347 people died each year from drowning in boating-related incidents.
- About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.
- Among children ages 1 to 4, most drownings occur in home swimming pools.
- Drowning is responsible for more deaths among children 1-4 than any other cause except birth defects.
- Among those ages 1-14, fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death behind motor vehicle accidents.
- More than 50% of drowning victims treated in the hospital emergency departments require hospitalization or transfer for further care. These nonfatal drowning injuries can cause catastrophic brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent vegetative state.
LESSONS. Quite frankly, I am not a very good swimmer – but I wanted my children to be good swimmers. So, at a very early age, we put them into swimming lessons. Research shows that formal swimming lessons significantly reduce the risk of drowning among children ages 1-4. Start them young.
SUPERVISION. Drowning can happen quickly and quietly anywhere there is water (such as bathtubs, swimming pools, buckets), and even in the presence of lifeguards.
CPR. Seconds Count. CPR performed by bystanders has been shown to save lives and improve outcomes in drowning victims. The sooner CPR is started, the better the chance of improved outcomes. Just last week, 2 jurors in a trial going on in Memphis, Tennessee saved a 6 year old from drowning at a hotel pool.
For More Information, visit The CDC Website on home and recreational water safety.