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Child drowning statistics in the home environment

  • Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death among children one to six years old. 
  • Two thirds of drowning accidents happen in a pool owned by the child’s family and one third in a pool owned by a neighbour, friend or relatives.
  • A quarter of child drownings happen during a family gathering like a birthday or Christening party, near a pool.
  • Most drowning victims are under the supervision of one or both parents at the time of the incident.
  • Most drowning accidents happen quickly. More than 3 out of 4 of victims were missing from sight for 5 minutes or less.
  • Contrary to popular belief, drowning is a silent death; there’s no splashing to alert anyone the child is in trouble. It can all be over in as little as 30-60 seconds.
  • For every child that drowns, 5 more are treated in the emergency department for near drowning. In the most severe cases, near-drowning may lead to brain damage, memory problems, learning disabilities and permanent loss of basic functioning (vegetative state).
  • The absence of a physical barrier around the pool contributes to the majority of drowning deaths.
  • Accidental drowning can be prevented. Please view our Top 10 Tips.