Drowning Facts

Water safety requires everyone doing their part. This includes taking swimming lessons, wearing Coast Guard approved PFDs and providing adequate adult oversight for all children and youth when they’re in or around water. Here are some drowning prevention facts that you can share with others. After all, drowning prevention is everyone’s responsibility.


  • Drowning is preventable.
  • Drowning is a silent event. Children will rarely scream, call out or splash for help.
  • Submersion takes less that 10 seconds.
  • Losing consciousness takes 2 minutes.
  • Permanent brain damage takes only 4-6 minutes.
  • Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for children under 14 years of age.
  • Children under age one most often drown in a bath tub, toilet or bucket.
  • Approximately 3,500 children are treated in emergency rooms for near drowning incidents each year.
  • For every child who dies by drowning, another four are hospitalized. Many never recover from brain damage that occurs while they are under water.
  • Most young children who drown in pools were last seen inside the house, had been out of sight less than 5 minutes and were in the care of one or both parents at the time of the event.
  • 94% of parents say they supervise their children while swimming, however many admit they are engaged in other distracting activities during that time.
  • Children’s Medical Center Dallas treats approximately 100 children for drowning/near-drowning incidents each year.
  • In Texas, about 300 people drown each year.
  • More than 900 children lose their lives drowning each year in the United States.

At Risk Groups

  • Minorities are at a significantly increased risk drowning.
  • African American children between ages 5-19 are 2.63 times more likely to drown than Caucasian children.
  • Males are more at risk for drowning than females.
  • Low-income children have a higher risk of drowning.



Test & Teach
Have your child’s swimming skills tested at your local YMCA.

Watch & Guard
Appoint an adult to supervise all pool activities. Add barriers around your pool.

Throw out a flotation device or use a pole to reach a drowning child. Never jump in to save.

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