The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers the following information about drowning risks.
What factors influence drowning risk?
- Lack of Supervision and Barriers. Supervision by a lifeguard or designated water-watcher is important to protect young children when they are in the water, whether a pool or bathtub. But when children are not supposed to be in the water, supervision alone isn’t enough to keep them safe.
- Barriers such as pool fencing should be used to help prevent young children from gaining access to the pool area without caregivers’ awareness.5 There is an 83% reduction in the risk of childhood drowning with a four-sided isolation pool fence, compared to three-sided property-line fencing।
- Among children ages 1 to 4 years, most drownings occur in residential swimming pools. Most young children who drowned in pools were last seen in the home, had been out of sight less than five minutes, and were in the care of one or both parents at the time.
- Natual Water Settings (such as lakes, rivers, or the ocean). The percent of drownings in natural water settings increases with age। When a location was known, 65% of drownings among those 15 years and older occurred in natural water settings.
- Lack of Life Jacket Use in Recreational Boating. In 2009, the U.S. Coast Guard received reports for 4,730 boating incidents; 3,358 boaters were reported injured, and 736 died. Among those who drowned, 9 out of 10 were not wearing life jackets.9 Most boating fatalities that occurred during 2008 (72%) were caused by drowning with 90% of victims not wearing life jackets; the remainder were due to trauma, hypothermia, carbon monoxide poisoning, or other causes।
- Alcohol Use. Alcohol use is involved in up to half of adolescent and adult deaths associated with water recreation and about one in five reported boating fatalities. Alcohol influences balance, coordination, and judgment, and its effects are heightened by sun exposure and heat।
- Seizure Disorders. For persons with seizure disorders, drowning is the most common cause of unintentional injury death, with the bathtub as the site of highest drowning risk।