Accidental Drowning Statistics
Florida had the highest unintentional drowning death rate of toddlers ages 1 – 4 in the United States (3 times the National rate) in the 5 years between 1999 - 2003.
Sixty – four percent of unintentional drowning deaths of Florida toddlers ages 0 – 4 and 60% of Florida children ages 5 – 9 between 2002 and 2004 occurred in swimming pools, but only 25% of Florida children ages 10 – 14.
Every year, about 300 toddlers drown in residential swimming pools; overall, more than 800 children ages 14 and under die from drowning, and more than 4,000 go to the emergency room after near-drowning incidents.
In 2001, 859 children ages 14 and under died as a result of unintentional drowning. Children ages 4 and under accounted for more than 60 percent of these deaths.
In 2002, nearly 2,700 children ages 14 and under were treated in hospital emergency rooms for accidental drowning-related incidents.
Near-drownings have high case fatality rates. Fifteen percent of children admitted for near-drowning die in the hospital. As many as 20 percent of near-drowning survivors suffer severe and permanent neurological disability.
More than half of drownings among infants (under age 1) occur in bathtubs. Drownings in this age group also occur in toilets and buckets. More than half of drownings among children ages 1 to 4 are pool-related. Children ages 5 to 14 most often drown in open water sites.
Since 1984, more than 327 children, 89 percent between the ages of 7 months and 15 months, have drowned in buckets containing water or other liquids used for mopping floors and other household chores. It is estimated that 30 children drown annually in buckets.
More than 10 percent of childhood drownings occur in bathtubs; the majority of these occur in the absence of adult supervision. Since 1983, there have been at least 104 deaths and 162 non-fatal incidents involving baby bath seats.
Among children ages 4 and under, there are approximately 300 residential swimming pool drownings each year. More than half of these drownings occur in the child's home pool, and one-third occur at the homes of friends, neighbors or relatives.
Most children who drown in swimming pools were last seen in the home, had been missing from sight for less than five minutes and were in the care of one or both parents at the time of the drowning.
Since 1980, more than 230 children ages 4 and under have drowned in spas and hot tubs.
In 2002, 16 children ages 14 and under drowned in reported recreational boating incidents. Nearly 45 percent of these drowning victims were not wearing personal flotation devices or life jackets.
In 2002, more than 189 children ages 14 and under sustained personal watercraft-related injuries.
Drownings and near-drownings tend to occur on Saturdays and Sundays (40 percent) and between the months of May and August (62 percent).
Drowning fatality rates are higher in southern and western states than in other regions of the United States. Rural areas have higher death rates than urban or suburban areas, in part due to decreased access to emergency medical care.
As many as 20 percent of near-drowning survivors suffer severe, permanent brain damage.
Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 1 to 14. The majority of accidental drownings and near-drownings occur in residential swimming pools and in open water sites. However, children can drown in as little as one inch of water and are therefore at risk of drowning in wading pools, bathtubs, buckets, diaper pails, toilets, spas and hot tubs.
Male children have a drowning rate two to four times that of female children. However, females have a bathtub drowning rate twice that of males.
* Statistical data obtained from Safe Kids USA, Florida Vital Statistics, Florida Department of Health and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.