World Drowning Prevention Day - July 25, 2023
In 2021, the World Health Organization designated July 25 as an annual observance known as World Drowning Prevention Day. The purpose of this day is to draw attention to the devastating and far-reaching consequences of drowning on families and communities, and to provide vital strategies for preventing such incidents and saving lives.
There are approximately
11 fatal drownings a day in America.
8,000 nonfatal drownings a year - that is an average of 22 nonfatal drownings per day.
Certain individuals face a heightened risk of drowning, with children aged 1-4 experiencing the highest rates of drowning incidents, predominantly in swimming pools. Surprisingly, drowning can occur even when children are not expected to be near water, often due to unsupervised access to pools. Approximately 80% of drowning victims are male, potentially attributed to factors such as increased water exposure, risk-taking behaviors, and alcohol consumption.
Individuals with seizure disorders, including epilepsy, have a greater susceptibility to fatal and non-fatal drowning compared to the general population. Among this group, drowning incidents most commonly occur in bathtubs. Moreover, many people, both adults and children, lack the ability to swim or consider themselves weak swimmers. Participating in formal swimming lessons can significantly decrease the risk of drowning, particularly among children and young adults.
The locations with the highest risk of drowning vary by age. Infants under 1 year old face a two-thirds likelihood of drowning in bathtubs, while home swimming pools are the primary sites for drowning among children aged 1-4. Natural bodies of water account for approximately 40% of drownings in children aged 5-14, while swimming pools contribute to around 30% of incidents. Among individuals aged 15 and older, over half of fatal and non-fatal drownings occur in lakes, rivers, or oceans.
The importance of wearing life jackets during water activities, particularly boating and swimming, cannot be overstated. Life jackets serve as a preventive measure against drowning. In 2021, the U.S. Coast Guard reported 658 boating-related deaths, with 81% of those fatalities resulting from drowning. Alarmingly, 83% of these individuals were not wearing life jackets.
How can you help prevent drowning?
- Make sure children know to always ask permission before going in or near the water.
- Never swim alone.” Never swim alone without a water watcher. Supervise your children whenever they’re in or near water.
- Swim In Designated Swimming Areas
- When In Doubt, Get Out. Don’t hesitate to get out of the water if something feels wrong.
- Know The Weather And Water Conditions
- Wear A United States Coast Guard -Approved Life Vest
- Stay Hydrated
- Have A Plan For Emergencies
Making sure your child and you know how to swim properly is also an important aspect to prevent drowning, Sign up for swimming lessons at the OC
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR SWIM LESSONS HERE