What To Know: Water Safety

June 29, 2023
Photo of water


As we approach the deadliest month for drowning in the United States, here's why you should be extra careful in the water during this time of year.
“… a purely accidental and tragic incident.”

The Tampa Police Department in a statement about the 2-year-old daughter of Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Shaquil Barrett, who drowned in a family swimming pool. Around 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 30, officers responded to a call that the child had fallen into the pool. The child was taken to the hospital, however, was later pronounced dead.


  • July is the deadliest month for drowning.

  • Drowning is the #1 cause of death in children ages 1 to 4 (other than birth defects) and a leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 14.

  • For all ages, drownings are the #5 cause of preventable injury-related deaths.

  • Nearly 80% of drowning deaths are males.

  • Alcohol use is involved in up to 70% of drowning deaths.

  • Each year, there are approx. 4,000 fatal drownings and 8,000+ nonfatal drownings.

Water-Associated Disease Outbreaks

  • CDC Study: From 2000 to 2014, there were 140 reported water-associated outbreaks linked to fresh / marine waters (lakes, rivers, oceans).

  • The majority of the outbreaks started during the summer months, with nearly 60% starting in July.

  • Outbreaks caused nearly 5,000 illnesses and two fatalities.

A few water safety tips to keep in mind this summer: Limit alcohol intake or avoid it all together; take CPR lessons and enroll children in swim lessons; make sure weak swimmers, children and boaters wear life jackets; closely supervise children when they are in or near water, and stay within an arm's length of children who are weak swimmers. To minimize your risk of exposure to water-associated diseases: Pay attention to advisory warnings and stay away from smelly or scummy waters.

CDC: Drowning Facts

Outbreaks Associated with Untreated Recreational Water — United States, 2000–2014 (CDC)

NSC: Top 10 Preventable Injuries

Red Cross: Water Safety

NPR: You Could Save A Child From Drowning This Summer. Here's How

Lake Hopatcong boaters rescue swimmers on Fourth of July Weekend (Daily Record)

by Jenna Lee,