Drowning Statistics

Drowning is the third leading cause of death worldwide, claiming about 338,000 lives each year. In the U.S., about ten people drown each day unintentionally. Most drowning deaths are preventable. Even when drowning incidents are not fatal, about 50 percent of near-drowning incidents are severe enough to require hospitalization.

Children Drowning Statistics

About one out of every five drowning fatalities is a child under the age of fourteen. Children under the age of five are at the highest drowning risk, and drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death for this age group. Florida has the highest rate of child drowning in the United States.

 

Safety Issues

Incidents which may result in drowning are often associated with a lack of supervision and safety barriers. Approximately 70 percent of children under the age of five that drown are in the care of at least one parent at the time that the fatal incident occurs. Most are out of sight for less than five minutes.

Gender Drowning Statistics

Nearly 80 percent of drowning victims are male. Males are also much more likely to be hospitalized for near drowning incidents than females. The reasons for this disparity are thought to be based on the difference in exposure to water and participation in risky behavior such as swimming alone or attempting stunts during water sport activities.

Non-Fatal Drowning Statistics

For each drowning death, it is estimated that there are three to four non-fatal drowning incidents that require medical attention. About 15 percent of those that are hospitalized for near drowning incidents die within 72 hours. Approximately 20 percent of those that are hospitalized suffer loss of cognitive function.

Location Drowning Statistics

Drowning location statistics vary with the age of the victim. About 88 percent of drowning incidents involving children under the age of fourteen occur at a home residence or private pool. About 57 percent of drowning incidents involving people over the age of fourteen occur in a natural body of water.

Drowning Statistics Declining

Overall, the rate of fatalities and injuries from drowning has been declining in recent years. This is in part due to organizations such as the National Drowning Prevention Alliance making water safety awareness more public. Legislation also plays a role in water safety. Changing laws about pool requirements and safe boating practices have helped to decrease incidents that may have tragic consequences. However, drowning incidents are still a major public health concern in the United States.

 

 

Sources:

“About.” National Drowning Prevention Alliance. National Drowning Prevention Alliance, n.d. Web. 29 Jan 2014. <http://ndpa.org/home/about/>.

“Drowning and Injury Prevention.” World Health Organization. World Health Organization. Web. 29 Jan 2014. <http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/bathing/srwe2chap2.pdf>.

“Drowning Prevention.” Florida Health. Florida Health. Web. 29 Jan 2014. <http://www.floridahealth.gov/prevention-safety-and-wellness/drowning-prevention/index.html>.

“Drowning.” World Health Organization. World Health Organization, n.d. Web. 29 Jan 2014. <http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs347/en/>.

“Unintentional Drowning: CDC Research & Activities.”Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30 Aug 2012. Web. 29 Jan 2014. <http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Water-Safety/drown-activities.html>.