Drowning Prevention

Drowning Prevention

Drowning Prevention

Definition: Childhood drowning and near-drowning can occur in a number of settings -- pools, hot tubs, beaches, lakes, bathtubs, and buckets. Activities such as boating, jet skiing, water skiing, sailing, and surfing are also associated with water-related injuries and fatalities. Most drowning incidents happen when a child falls into a pool or is left alone in the bathtub. It can take only a couple of seconds for a child to drown, and drowning typically occurs when a child is left unattended or during a brief lapse in supervision.

Magnitude of the Problem: According to CDC WISQARS data:

  • Every year in the U.S., 945 children under age 20 die from drowning.
  • Nearly half of them are infants and toddlers under age 5.
  • While White children account for more than half of these fatalities, American Indian/Alaska Native and Black children are significantly more likely to drown.

Prevention: Laws and regulations enacted to address water safety often concentrate on swimming pool regulations and personal flotation device mandates. For example, the Virginia Graeme Baker Act requires anti-entrapment drain covers on pools and spas.

Environmental protections (e.g., isolation pool fences and lifeguards) can protect children and youth from drowning. Other strategies include teaching children proper techniques for survival swimming; communicating to parents and caregivers the importance of closely supervising children who are engaged in water activities; emphasizing the necessity of wearing life jackets while boating; educating individuals about avoiding alcohol while participating in water activities; and providing training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online], Fatal Injury Reports, 2010-2014.   

New CSN Resources on the Costs of Childhood Injuries

Release Date: 
2017-11-28 00:00:00

In 2015, injuries caused 13,363 deaths in U.S. children and adolescents aged 0-19. In addition, injuries were responsible for 200,225 hospitalizations and almost 7.7 million emergency department (ED) visits in this population (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], WISQARS, 2017). One important way to understand the burden of childhood injuries is by looking at the costs of those injuries.

The Medical Costs of Childhood Injuries: Deaths

In 2015, the total medical costs of injury-related deaths of children age 19 and younger was $153.2 million. This infographic breaks out the medical cost of child deaths by injury topic.

Download a PDF of the infographic for printing

This is part of a series on the costs of childhood injuries.

Additional infographics on the medical costs of childhood injuries:

Resource Type: 
CSN Infographic

The Medical Costs of Childhood Injuries: Hospitalizations

In 2015, the total medical costs of injury-related hospitalizations of children age 19 and younger was $6.6 billion. This infographic breaks out the medical cost of hospitalizations of children by injury topic.

Download a PDF of the infographic for printing

This is part of a series on the costs of childhood injuries.

Resource Type: 
CSN Infographic

Costs of Leading Childhood Injuries Fact Sheet

This fact sheet covers the costs of childhood injuries, including medical costs, work loss costs, and quality of life loss costs. Work loss costs include lost wages of injured persons and lost household work, or, in the case of fatality, lost earnings and household work over the victim’s expected remaining lifespan in the absence of premature death.

Resource Type: 
CSN Publications

Why Drownings Are a Leading Cause of Death among Children

Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children ages 1 to 14 (1), and children account for 1 in 4 drowning deaths. (1) There are significant racial/ethnic disparities in drowning rates. For example, African American children and youth ages 5–19 are 5.5 times more likely to drown in a swimming pool than their white peers, and at ages 11–12, African American children drowned in swimming pools at 10 times the rate of whites.

CSN Webinar

The Facts On Childhood Drowning

Every year in the US, 3,572 people die from drowning. Nine hundred and forty-five of them are children. Children account for one out of four drowning deaths.

This infographic from the Children's Safety Network covers the demographics of drownings, locations of drownings, near drowning, and prevention. Swim safely this summer!

Resource Type: 
CSN Infographic

Pool Safely: When It Comes to Pool and Spa Safety, More Is Better

The best way to promote safety in swimming pools and spas is by adopting and practicing layers of protection. Because you never know which one of these steps will make a difference-until it does. This webinar, led by Ellyn Pollack, leader of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's Pool Safely campaign, will address levels of protection in and around the water to ensure that children and families stay safer year-round. The webinar will also provide an overview of the information and resources the Pool Safely campaign provides to promote water safety.

CSN Webinar

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