Drowning Fact Sheet
Drowning accidents are the leading cause of injury/deaths among
children under five. A temporary lapse in supervision is a common
factor in most drownings and near-drownings. Child drownings can
happen in a matter of seconds - in the time it takes to answer the
phone. There is often no splashing to warn of trouble. Children
can drown in small quantities of water and are at risk in their
own homes from wading pools, bathtubs, buckets, diaper pails, toilets
as well as swimming pools, spas, and hot tubs.
Deaths and Injuries
A swimming pool is 14 times more likely than a motor vehicle to
be involved in the death of a child age 4 and under. Each year,
approximately 1,150 children ages 14 and under drown; more than
half are preschoolers (ages 0-4). An estimated 5,000 children ages
14 and under are hospitalized due to near-drownings annually in
the United States. Of children surviving near-drownings, 5-20 percent
suffer severe and permanent disability.
Where Drownings Happen
Approximately 50 percent of preschooler drownings occur in residential
Each year, more than 2,000 preschooler near-drownings occur in
residential pools. Of preschooler pool drownings, 65 percent occur
in the child's home pool and 33 percent at the homes of friends,
neighbors or relatives.
Each year, 350 drownings (for all ages) happen in bathtubs and
approximately 40 children drown in five-gallon buckets.
In ten states-Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii, Montana,
Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington-drowning surpasses all' other
causes of death to children age 14 and under.
How and When Drownings Happen
Of all preschoolers who drown, 70 percent are in the care of one
of both parents at the time of the drowning. Of all preschoolers
who drown, 75 percent are missing from sight for five minute or
Two-thirds of all drownings happen between May and August with
40 percent occurring on Saturdays and Sundays.
For more information on pool safety see: The
United States Lifesaving Association | The Consumer Product