8 Facts about Drowning Plus Prevention Tips
Last updated: April 26, 2023, at 10:28 a.m. PT
Originally published: May 3, 2021, at 11:07 a.m. PT
Drowning is preventable! Stay in the know and practice water safety. You could save a life, including yours.
Facts about Drowning
- In the U.S., drowning takes an average of 3,500-4,000 lives per year.
- Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1-4.
- Among those ages 1-14, fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death.
- 23 percent of child drownings happen during a family gathering near a pool.
- Drowning is fast and silent. It can happen in as little as 20-60 seconds.
- The fatal unintentional drowning rate for African Americans is significantly higher than that of whites across all ages.
- Nearly 80 percent of people who die from drownings are male.
- No one is drown-proof and drowning doesn't discriminate!
- Take Swimming Lessons: Learning to swim can reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent.
- Learn Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR): The more quickly CPR is started, the better the chance of improved outcomes.
- Use the Buddy System: Never swim alone; bring along a buddy or only swim if a lifeguard is present.
- Wear a Life Jacket: Wearing a life jacket could potentially prevent half of all boating deaths.
- Don't use Pool Toys instead of a Safety Device: “Water Wings”, “Pool Noodles”, and inner-tubes are NOT a substitute for a life jacket.
- Install a Barrier: Having a barrier, such as pool fencing, prevents children from gaining access to pools without supervision.
- Avoid Alcohol: Alcohol influences balance, coordination, and judgment.
Sources: National Drowning Prevention Alliance, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Red Cross
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