Drastic Increase in Drownings According to CDC

Drastic Increase in Drownings According to CDC

According to the CDC, there has been a drastic increase in drownings in recent years. For the first time in decades, drowning deaths in the United States have surged, raising alarms for families across the nation. Recent data indicates that the annual number of drowning deaths increased by about 500 between 2020 and 2022. This disturbing trend highlights the urgent need for more water safety measures and awareness, especially among vulnerable groups.

Drastic Increase in Drownings: Who is Most at Risk?

The CDC's analysis revealed that more than 4,500 people died due to unintentional drowning each year between 2020 and 2022, up from approximately 4,000 in 2019. The increase in deaths was most pronounced among groups already at a higher risk of drowning: young children, older adults, and Black and Native American or Alaska Native individuals.

Children Under Four Years Old

Shocking no one, the highest drowning rates were found in kids aged one to four years old. As we’ve often said, this age group is in particular danger. After all, drowning is the leading cause of death for these little ones. The CDC found that drowning deaths in children aged one to four rose by roughly 28% in 2021 and 2022 compared to 2019.

Adults Are in Danger Too!

Adults aged 65 and older also faced significantly higher drowning rates. Notably, individuals aged 65 to 74 were 19% more likely to drown in 2022 than in 2019, while those over 85 had a nearly 50% higher chance of drowning in 2021 compared to 2019.

Racial and Ethnic Disparities

Believe it or not, the highest drowning rates by race and ethnicity were among Black, Native American or Alaska Native people. Black individuals experienced a 28% increase in drowning deaths in 2021 compared to 2019. Meanwhile, although the drowning rates for Native American or Alaska Native individuals did not increase, they remained more likely to drown than any other group.

The Importance of Swimming Ability and Water Safety Education

The CDC's national survey on swimming ability revealed that around 40 million U.S. adults do not know how to swim, with more than half of respondents never having taken a swimming lesson. This lack of swimming proficiency is a significant factor contributing to drowning deaths.

Social and structural barriers often limit access to swimming education, particularly for Black adults, who report higher rates of not knowing how to swim or never having taken a swimming lesson compared to others. Addressing these disparities is crucial in reducing drowning rates.

Practical Advice for Modern Families

To protect your loved ones from drowning, the CDC recommends several practical measures:

Install Proper Pool Fencing

Make sure that home pools are surrounded by a tall, properly installed pool fence on all sides to prevent unsupervised access by young children.

Supervise Kids at All Times

Always keep a close eye on children when they are in or near water. Designate a responsible adult to watch over them without distractions.

Use Life Jackets

When boating or participating in water activities, make sure that everyone wears a properly fitting life jacket.

Enroll in Swimming Lessons

Encourage both children and adults to take swimming lessons. Learning to swim can significantly reduce the risk of drowning.

Learn CPR

Knowing how to perform CPR can be lifesaving in emergency situations. Consider taking a CPR course to be prepared.

Know How To Perform CPR On Children & Adults

The rise in drowning deaths in the U.S. is a stark reminder of the importance of water safety. Moving forward, taking proactive steps to ensure the safety of our loved ones around water is essential. By increasing access to swimming education and implementing practical safety measures, we can help to protect our families from the devastating impact of drowning.