2019 Pool Safety Statistics – Pool Safety Foundation (2024)

Everyone enjoys swimming in a pool, especially once summertime hits! Every swimming pool beckons, inviting all ages to enter and relish in a day of swimming fun. While pool swimming allows for a day full of joy and excitement, it also needs to be safe. Did you know that a young child could drown in as little as 25 seconds? Or that many pool drownings occur when no one is actually swimming, or even near a swimming pool?

While swimming pools can make for a great deal of fun, they can also be dangerous. This makes it a good idea for adults to make sure to keep certain items in a pool area, like flotation devices, no diving signs when appropriate, and first aid kits.

If you’re a parent, or an adult who’s in charge of making sure anyone who enters a pool area is safe, then reading the below information on pool safety statistics is necessary. The last thing you want to happen is for someone to be injured or even drown on your watch.

The Importance of Swimming Pool Safety

Even though parents know they need to watch toddlers and young children very closely when they are anywhere near a swimming pool, they don’t often think about the need to watch teens and even young adults. While the saying, the Younger the Child, the Greater the Risk is indeed true, it’s necessary for adults to supervise anyone who’s swimming in a pool at all times, no matter what their age.

According to the World Health Organization, drowning is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide.

Swimming Pool Injuries

Swimming pool injuries can happen at any time. Swimming pool falls are one of the more common ways people are injured, which are often caused by too-slick surfaces. Malfunctioning swimming pool ladders and defective diving boards can also result in a swimming pool injury. When someone injures themselves in or around a pool area, they can potentially experience scrapes and cuts, broken bones, head injuries, back injuries, and neck injuries.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, for every child in the United States who drowns, five other children receive emergency room care for injuries suffered in a swimming pool.

Swimming Pool Injury Statistics:

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, non-fatal drowning injuries can cause severe brain damage that could result in long-term health issues including memory and learning problems.
  • According to Live and Learn, more than 2,000 children under the age of 5 are treated in hospital emergency rooms for submersion injuries every year.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 50.2% of the ED (emergency department) patients required hospitalization or transfer for further care.
  • According to a pool report created by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the majority of the estimated ED-treated, nonfatal drowning injuries for 2014 through 2016 were associated with pools (versus spas). Children between the ages of 1 and 3 represented 61% of estimated nonfatal drowning injuries.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nonfatal drowning injuries among those aged ≥15 years, 21.8% were associated with alcohol use.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among children aged ≤4 years, 50.1% of fatal incidents and 64.6% of nonfatal incidents occurred in swimming pools.

Swimming Pool Drownings

What are the factors that increase one’s risk of drowning in a swimming pool? The CDC states the following risks are the reason behind so many drowning fatalities – subpar swimming skills, a lack of swimming pool barriers, a lack of supervision, alcohol use, and having a seizure disorder. The U.S. Consumer Safety Commission was founded in 2010 with a goal of raising awareness on the topic of pool safety. Accordingly, they’ve posed a list of safety steps every adult needs to take when in charge of swimming pool safety.

Swimming Pool Drowning Stats:

  • According to the National Safety Council, boys younger than 15 die from drowning at twice the rate as girls.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of injury death in U.S. children ages 1-4 years, and the third leading cause of unintentional injury death in children and adolescents ages 5-19 years.
  • According to Healthychildren.org, 69% of all drownings among children age four and younger happen during non-swim times.
  • According to the National Safety Council, more than 3,700 people drowned in the United States in 2016.
  • According to Kidshealth.org, 5%-10% of childhood drowning cases result in long-term disability.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 5 people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger.
  • According to the CPSC, 74% of drowning incidents for children younger than 15 between 2015 and 2017 occurred in residential locations.
  • Drownings continue to be the second leading cause of preventable death through the age 15, making it necessary for parents to keep a close eye on all ages when swimming.
  • According to the CDC, drowning is the number one cause of unintentional death for children between the ages of 1 and 4.
  • According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 390 deaths a year on average are attributed to drowning in a swimming pool or at a spa.

Do you have a pool in your yard? Then you need to understand today’s pool safety statistics. This information will help you understand more about the number of child drownings per year, of which many, if not all, could have been prevented. In order for swimming pool injuries and swimming pool drownings to stop, adults need to make a commitment to following all swimming pool safety rules in place, and every single day of the year, not just during the summertime.

You can help prevent swimming pool injuries and drownings by taking simple yet important actions – install a fence, install a self-closing and self-latching gate, install a door alarm, install a pool safety cover, remove ladders when above ground pools are not in use.

2019 Pool Safety Statistics – Pool Safety Foundation (2024)
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