Drowning is defined as submersion or immersion in liquid (water) resulting in respiratory impairment. While most consider drowning always to be fatal, many survive the frightening events. Nonfatal drowning can lead to brain damage and permanent disabilities.
Drownings in the US remain a serious problem in the United States. The problem becomes worse when considering that many cannot swim or consider themselves weak swimmers. Active pursuit of swimming lessons can help lower the drowning stats for children and young adults.
More than 4,000 unintentionally fatal drownings occur every year, accounting for 11 fatalities on a daily basis. Nonfatal drownings number 8,000 annually, breaking down to 22 per day. Nearly 4,000 incidences require further care.
Additional data paints a bleak picture. Children aged one to four tragically top drowning rates, most occurring in swimming pools. Many tragic and near-tragic events are due to a lack of supervision around pools. Close to 80 percent who die from drowning are male, with contributing factors involving more time near water, risky behaviors, and alcohol consumption.
When looking at the general population, people who have seizure disorders or other medical issues that include autism and heart conditions are highly at risk of fatal and nonfatal drowning when looking at the general population. In addition to pools and bodies of water, drowning can occur in bathtubs.
In most, if not all, possible drownings, life jackets while swimming and boating can reduce the rise in fatal and nonfatal drownings. Statistics from the US Coast Guard reveal that out of the nearly 660 boating deaths, 81 percent of deaths were caused by drowning, with 83 percent going without life jackets.
Drowning is easily preventable. Whether through growing awareness and focusing on swimming lessons, avoiding avoidable deaths are a priority.