These drowning facts and figures should get your attention. The second largest number of accidental injuries occur to teenagers, primarily males. Often the victim has been drinking alcohol and has dove into the pool in an area too shallow for diving, or from a location not intended for diving. Many of those who “drink and dive” end up in a wheelchair, if they’re lucky. Alcohol and spas are also a potentially lethal combination; the hot water and the alcohol combine to cause individuals to fall asleep and drown in only three feet of water.
NSPI statistics show that drowning and swimming accidents are best prevented by adult supervision, public awareness programs including water safety training for young children, and not drinking alcohol while swimming, diving or soaking. Statistically, most accidents involving drowning or severe injury occur to children under 5 years of age who are unsupervised, cannot swim, and fall into a pool or pool cover with water on top. Toddlers at the age of 2 or 3 are most likely to wander off from a parent’s supervision. Drowning is NOT accompanied by loud noise or splashing sounds. DROWNING IS SILENT! To prevent child-drowning, there is NO substitute for parental supervision.
In some areas of the nation, drowning has been the leading cause of accidental death in children under 5 years old. The information below can help parents and caregivers provide young children with the protection they deserve. Each year, nationwide, more than 300 children under 5 years old drown in swimming pools. In addition, more than 2,000 children in that age group are treated in hospital emergency rooms for submersion injures.
Facts & Figures
The following are just a few facts uncovered by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in a comprehensive study of drowning and submersion incidents involving children under 5 years old in Arizona, California, and Florida.
Seventy-five percent of the submersion victims studied by CPSC were between 1 and 3 years old; 65 percent of this group were boys. Toddlers, in particular, often do something unexpected because their capabilities change daily.
Pool submersions involving children happen quickly. A child can drown in the time it takes to answer a phone. Seventy-seven percent of the victims had been missing from sight for 5 minutes or less.
Survival depends on rescuing the child quickly and restarting the breathing process, even while the child is still in the water. Seconds count in preventing death or brain damage.
Child drowning is a silent death. There’s no splashing to alert anyone that the child is in trouble.