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Did You Know?

  • The majority of drownings of children in the United States occur in residential pools while children are unattended?
  • For every child who drowns, four others are hospitalized for near-drowning, and as many as three suffer brain damage?
  • Fifteen percent of children admitted for near-drowning die in the hospital?
  • Typical medical costs for a near-drowning victim can range from $75,000 for initial emergency-room treatment to $180,000 a year for long-term care, while a near-drowning that results in brain damage can ultimately cost more than $4.5 million?
  • Unprotected in-ground pools are 60 percent more likely to be involved in drownings than pools with complete four-sided isolation fencing?
  • The majority of children who drown in swimming pools were last seen in the home, had been missing from sight for less than five minutes, and were in the care of one or both parents at the time of the drowning?

Most cases of drowning are the result of drinking alcohol or poor supervision. In seas and rivers, tides and currents are also important hazards and can cause even strong swimmers to drown.  In spas and pools, drowning can result from hair or body parts getting caught in inlets and outlets. The clarity of the water can also be a factor. In murky water, people may not see that someone needs help. Overcrowded swimming areas present a similar problem.


Water-based recreational activities can also result in a variety of injuries. Diving or jumping into waters of unknown depth can lead to serious injuries, including spinal injury, which may ultimately result in paraplegia or quadriplegia. Diving into shallow water is the most common cause of spinal injuries. More common, but usually less severe, are injuries arising from discarded glass, cans and needles on beaches or near bathing areas, or injuries from slipping on wet surfaces around pools.

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