Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths to children aged 14 and under. Child drownings can happen in a matter of seconds – in the time it takes to answer the phone, or open the front door to a caller.
A swimming pool is 14 times more likely than a motor vehicle to be involved in the death of a child aged 4 and under. Each year, there are 600 to 800 swimming pool-related drowning deaths in the USA alone. Of all age groups, children aged 1-4 have the highest drowning death rate.
Approximately half of all drownings involving children under five occur in residential swimming pools.
For every child drowning, up to 14 children are taken to hospital emergency departments, and four are admitted to hospital. Of children surviving near-drownings, there is up to a 20% chance of brain damage due to lack of oxygen, which may give rise to severe and permanent disabilities.
In the ‘under 4 years of age’ group, 70% are in the care of one or both parents at the time of the drowning and 75% are missing from sight for five minutes or less.
Remember: water with it’s rippling, shimmering appeal is a magnet for children. Children under the age of six have no fear of water and no concept of death. They associate water with play and not with danger.