Drowning Statistics

1 in 5

For every child who fatally drowns, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries. 


Disproportionate Risk

Males account for approximately 80% of fatal drowning victims. Researchers speculate that these results reflect men overestimating their swimming abilities. African American children ages 5-19 drown in swimming pools at rates 5.5 times higher than white children. Among African American children ages 11-12, the rate disparity increases to 10 times. 


1 to 4 Years Old

Drowning resulted in more deaths among children between the ages of  1- to 4, than any other cause except birth defects. Incidents in bathtubs accounted for approximately 10% of fatal and nonfatal drownings and were most common among children under the age of 4.

Children With Autism

Children with autism are five to 14 times more likely to drown than peers without autism. Accidental drowning accounted for 91% of deaths for children 14 & under who have been diagnosed with autism.




Drowning is the 2nd leading cause of death among children under the age of 14 years


More than 50% of drowning victims treated in emergency departments require hospitalization or transfer for further care (compared to hospitalization rate of 6% for 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.