Drowning Facts


Average Unintentional Drownings Each Year


Number of People That Drown Each Day


Of Drowning Occur With At Least One Adult Present

Source: Center for Disease Control (CDC)

Downing Facts

More children ages 1-4 die from drowning than any other cause of death and it’s the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children ages 5-14.

Ways you Can Prevent Drowning

Here are some key pieces of information that can help you prevent drowning

Some people have a higher risk of drowning


Children ages 1–4 have the highest drowning rates. Most drownings in children 1–4 happen in swimming pools. Drowning can happen even when children are not expected to be near water, such as when they gain unsupervised access to pools. Fatal drowning is the leading cause of death for children 1-4 and the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children 5-14, behind motor vehicle crashes.


Nearly 80% of people who die from drowning are male. Many factors might contribute to higher rates of drowning among males, including increased exposure to water, risk-taking behaviors, and alcohol use.

People with seizure disorders or certain medical conditions

People with seizure disorders such as epilepsy are at a higher risk of fatal and nonfatal drowning than the general population. Drowning is the most common cause of unintentional injury death, with the bathtub being the most common site of drowning, for people with seizure disorders. Other conditions such as autism and heart conditions are associated with a higher risk of drownin

Certain factors make drowning more likely

Not being able to swim

Many adults and children report that they can’t swim or that they are weak swimmers.17-19 Participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning among children and young adults.

Missing or ineffective fences around water

Proper pool fencing can prevent young children from gaining access to the pool area without caregivers’ awareness. A four-sided isolation fence which separates the pool area from the house and yard reduces a child’s risk of drowning by 83% compared to three-sided property-line fencing (which encloses the entire yard, but does not separate the pool from the house).

Lack of close supervision

Drowning can happen quickly and quietly anywhere there is water, especially to unsupervised children. It happens in lakes and oceans, pools, bathtubs, and even buckets of water.

Not wearing life jackets

Life jackets can prevent drowning during water activities, especially boating and swimming. The U.S. Coast Guard reported 658 boating-related deaths in 2021—81% died by drowning, and 83% of these people were not wearing life jackets.

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