July 2020 puts us right smack in the middle of a very strange summer. With lockdowns and closed community pools and water parks, there are less opportunities for people to hop into the water. For some good news, the monthly U.S. Drowning Stats for July 2020 have arrived and we’re seeing less drownings than is typical for this time of year.

U.S. Drowning Stats for July 2020

Every month, we’re proud to share U.S. Drowning Stats, which are collected by Total Aquatic Programming. These drowning stats and maps are invaluable tools when it comes to tracking dangerous trends. In fact, these numbers have been collected since 2009, with the express goal of detecting patterns that can help us to reduce and eliminate drowning danger across the nation. Typically, a thorough examination of these numbers allows us to pinpoint common areas for improvement and their potential solution. A common example is the need for better water safety education.

As our loyal readers know, this basic chart focuses on four key age groups and how they are affected by drowning:

  • Children aged four and younger
  • Children aged 12 and under
  • Teenagers
  • Adults, meaning anyone older than teens

Chart: Drowning Stats for July 2020

July 2020 Drowning Stats

As the chart shows, the U.S. Drowning Stats for July 2020 are lower than July 2019’s statistics.

In total, there have been 95 fewer drowning incidents this year versus last year. In fact, there have been lower rates in nearly every category. This makes sense due to the lower swimming numbers. The lone exception is the category for teens, which has seen one more incident than last year. Even though it is perfectly safe to swim during the COVID-19 “Stay Inside” orders, it is still likely that many people are staying home during these trying times. As for the teens, well, teens tend to be a bit more headstrong and rebellious when it comes to following the rules. For this reason, we wrote a blog specifically dedicated to the dangers of teens and drowning.

What Does This Mean?

Now that you’ve seen the drowning stats for July 2020, the next question is: what do they mean? Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the information is a lot less clear than usual.

As we mentioned earlier, it is typically possible to look at this data and make some clear assumptions about the causes and trouble areas related to drowning. Unfortunately, the unusual circumstances of 2020 has thrown quite a wrench in the gears of this topic. It is downright difficult to draw significant meaning from the current numbers. For example, if you refer back to the June 2020 drowning stats, there was a stark rise in drownings versus 2019. A lot of this can be attributed to changing pool openings and closings. All in all, we should all strive to better educate ourselves on swimming safety and take extra care near the water.

Understanding The Numbers: Drowning Maps for 2019/2020

In addition to the July 2020 drowning stats above, Total Aquatic Programming has provided us with two additional graphics. The first is a nationwide drowning map for all of 2019. This map identifies “hot spots” of child drowning incidents on a state-by-state basis. Please take a look at the map below. It has been updated to include all drownings through July 2019.


Up next is the detailed 2020 map that takes a closer look at child drownings. Please note that the numbers inside each state on this map represent the ages of the children, not the number of children. Each age represents one child. So, if a child was 10-11-12 years old, their age is underlined.  For example, a 12-year-old would be listed on the map as “12.”


Where Do These Drowning Stats Come From?

As mentioned earlier, these U.S. Drowning Stats and graphics are brought to us courtesy of Sue and Mick Nelson of Total Aquatic Programming, LLC. USA Swimming, the national governing body for competitive swimming in the United States, also uses this information.

If you are interested in learning more about the people behind this data, watch our full Child Safety Source interview with Mick Nelson. Additionally, you can visit Total Aquatic Programming’s official website.