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Drowning Statistics

  • On average, ten people drown every day.

  • Drowning takes 3,400 lives every year.

  • One in five people who die from a drowning accident are 14 years or younger.

  • Nearly 23% of accidental drownings occur at family gatherings.

  • More than 50% of drowning victims are hospitalized for further treatment. This is in comparison to only 6% that require hospitalization for any other unintentional injury.

Child Safety

  • 1 in 5 people who drown are under the age of 14. 

  • Children between the ages of 1-4 years have the highest drowning rate. 

  • About 1 in 4 child drownings occur in a home setting. 

  • Most drownings & near-drownings occur between the months of May through September, but adults should always be alert when children are present in a home that has a pool.  

  • Nonfatal drowning injuries can cause serious brain damage such as: memory loss, learning disabilities and permanent loss of basic functions. 

Elderly Safety

  • Elderly drownings account for nearly one tenth of all drownings. 

  • Elderly drowning patients are more likely to experience cardiac arrest, hypothermia, and ICU admission. 

  • Nearly 80% of people who die of drowning are male. 

  • Most people associate pool fencing and safety barriers with children, but elderly should have fences surrounding swimming pools as well. 

Pet Safety

  • An estimated 5,000 pets drown in swimming pools annually. 

  • An animal who is underwater for at least 45 seconds will require emergency veterinary attention. 

  • Young animals and smaller breeds of dogs are more likely to drown.

  • Remember, not all dogs know how to swim or exit a swimming pool. 

What Can You Do to Keep Them All Safe?

  • Swimming lessons help to reduce the risk of drowning. 

  • CPR education is also useful to learn, especially when you are a homeowner who has a swimming pool. 

  • Proper life vests according to the swimmers age and weight are necessary for children. 

  • Safety fences are the perfect line of defense to protect your loved ones from the risk of drowning. 

The More You Know

Always be alert when children, elderly & pets are near a swimming pool and any body of water. Remember, drowning does not always look the way that it is dramatized in movies. Drowning does not discriminate, and it can affect any life at any age. Drug & alcohol use can contribute to the chances of a drowning occurrence. The more you know, the safer you can keep your loved ones! Learn more about pool safety, drowning and precautions at Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (, National Drowning Prevention Alliance (, and


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online]. [cited 2012 May 3]. Available from: URL:

  2. CDC. Wide-ranging online data for epidemiologic research (WONDER). Atlanta, GA: CDC, National Center for Health Statistics; 2016. Available at

  3. Drowning Facts and Figures – International Life Saving Federation ( 2021 APR 13. Retrieved from

  4. Risk of Pet Drowning on the Rise! 2021 APR 13.  Retrieved from

  5. National Drowning Prevention Alliance. Drowning is Preventable. Get Involved. 2021 APR 13. Retrieved from

  6. Facts & Stats About Drowning - Stop Drowning Now. 2021 APR 13. Retrieved from

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