The Texas Department of Family & Protective Services tracks fatal drownings of children, age 17 and younger, in Texas. In 2020 there were at least 80 fatal child drownings. It is estimated that there are 5-6 times more non-fatal drownings than fatal drownings. So far, 11 Texas children have fatally drowned in 2021.
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
The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that drowning is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide, accounting for 7% of all injury-related deaths.
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.