The Texas Department of Family & Protective Services tracks fatal drownings of children, age 17 and younger, in Texas. In 2017 there were at least 80 fatal drownings. So far in 2018 there have been 19 fatal drownings and multiple non-fatal drownings. It is estimated that there are 6-7 times more non-fatal drownings than fatal drownings.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States.
- From 2005-2014, there were an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States — about ten deaths per day.1 An additional 332 people died each year from drowning in boating-related incidents.2
- About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger.1 For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.1
- 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).1,2 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).3,4
Drowning is fast and silent. No-one is drownproof, but drowning is preventable. Please view our Water Safety Tips to help keep you and your family safer around water throughout the year.
Visiting a lake in Central Texas? See the map below to find out if you will be near a life jacket loaner station. These stations provide lake visitors with US Coast Guard approved life jackets that can be used for the duration of their trip. Remember to wear a life jacket in open water, including docks. For more information about life jackets, visit our Water Safety Hub.