It’s that time again, when we take a look at the monthly water safety stats. This time, we’ll examine the national drowning stats for March 2021. Unfortunately, things are looking a bit grim. 

U.S. Drowning Stats for March 2021

If you follow the Safety Blog, you’ve no doubt seen our monthly dive into the national drowning statistics and maps. In each of these blogs, we compare the month that just passed with that month from each of the past 11 years.

Why, you may ask? In a nutshell, these detailed drowning stats and maps can point us toward potential trends and possible dangers.

Each month, these statistics are diligently collected and presented by Total Aquatic Programming. This company kindly shares these resources with Life Saver Pool Fence so we can share them with you, our readers.

Getting Started

To begin, this section will show a chart that explores the drowning stats for the month of March going all the way back to the year 2009. With this data, water safety experts are able to track trends and certain patterns of behavior.

Total Aquatic Programming’s data tracks more than 15 separate items from every drowning that occurs throughout the country.

These items include, but are not limited to:

  • date
  • state
  • city
  • county
  • age and gender of the victim
  • ethnicity, if recorded
  • body of water in which the drowning occurred
  • and several other circumstances that can help to provide some guidance in the prevention of future drownings.

Chart: Drowning Statistics for March 2009-2021

Drowning Stats for March 2021

This 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

As evidenced in the chart, March 2021 wasn’t a particularly great month. While it isn’t the worst year on record for any category, it is overall much worse than the previous two Marches.

Specifically, children seem to have faired worse than they have in the past couple of years. What had previously seemed to be a major dip has gradually crept back up. Fortunately, the number of drowning incidents affecting teens has gone back down versus 2020. To speculate, perhaps teens have been more responsible at adhering to safety guidelines.

The Adult category is higher than all the others. Compared to last year, the total adult drowning incidents are up to 66. That’s a big increase from last year. Perhaps as COVID-19 restrictions are beginning to loosen, adults are taking greater risks than usual. A false sense of security can quickly turn tragic, so it always pays to be prepared.

March 2021 map

Understanding The Numbers: Drowning Maps for 2019/2020 

In addition to the March 2021 drowning stats, 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 that have occurred since July 2019.

2021 Map

Up next is the detailed 2020 map that takes a closer look at child drownings. Please note that the numbers listed on each state represent the ages of the children involved in these incidents, not the number of children. Each age represents one child. For example, a 12-year-old would be listed on the map as “12.”

Map of the US

The Source of These Drowning Statistics

All of 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.