According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning, with three of those being children. Drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death for people of all ages, and the second leading cause of injury death for children ages 1 to 14 years. In fact, more children 1-4 years die from drowning than any other cause of death except birth defects. This translates to an average of 3,546 fatal drownings each year.
For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries. Additionally, more than 50% of drowning victims treated in emergency departments (EDs) require hospitalization or transfer for further care (compared with a hospitalization rate of about 6% for all unintentional injuries). These nonfatal drowning injuries can cause severe brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning (e.g., permanent vegetative state).
These deaths and injuries can be prevented by having children learn to swim, adult supervision and by using devices that aid in preventing these accidents.
The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives through aquatics. The Step Into Swim™ Campaign is a 10-year initiative to create 1 million more swimmers.