Welcome to 2020! It may be a brand new year, but drowning danger is still a very serious threat. Join us as we take a deep dive into the U.S. Drowning Stats for January 2020.

Why Should We Pay Attention to Drowning Statistics?

When it comes to child safety, parents and guardians must always stay vigilant. Of all the dangers we face, drowning is at the very top of the list. According to the CDC, drowning is responsible for more deaths among children aged one through four than any other cause, barring birth defects.

Each month on the Life Saver Pool Fence blog, we are proud to share valuable information about this terrible and often fatal hazard. In fact, this helpful information is collected by renowned experts in the field. Over the years, we have shared numerous tales of drowning deaths and daring rescues. These are excellent examples of swimming safety in action, but they are still anecdotal evidence. As you’ll see in the charts and maps of U.S. drowning stats for January 2020, hard data is much more substantial.

These monthly drowning stats pinpoint the exact ages and causes of certain accidents. Through trends and patterns of incidents, we can discover potential gaps in our knowledge. These are areas we can all improve upon. The drowning stats for January 2020 illustrate this need for improvement perfectly.

U.S. Drowning Stats for January 2020

As we mentioned earlier, the drowning stats are brought to us by renowned industry experts. The charts, collected by Total Aquatic Programming, compares numbers from last month with numbers from the month of January in previous years, going back to 2009. As always, 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 January 2020

January Total Child 4-u Child 12-u Teen Adult
2020-Jan 68 12 1 5 50
2019-Jan 75 6 5 3 61
2018-Jan 76 20 5 3 48
2017-Jan 97 9 6 6 76
2016-Jan 44 10 2 6 26
2015-Jan 54 12 7 7 28
2014-Jan 60 11 3 3 43
2013-Jan 60 6 5 6 43
2012-Jan 76 12 3 5 56
2011-Jan 67 12 6 4 45
2010-Jan 62 13 9 6 34
2009-Jan 56 11 5 1 39

As you can see, the drowning stats for January 2020 are a mixed bag. In some spaces, they were an improvement over the previous year. However, in absolutely none of the categories are these the best numbers we’ve ever seen. For instance, January 2020 is twice as bad as the previous year for child drownings. Perhaps if more people took advantage of swimming programs like Infant Swimming Resource (ISR), this problem could be reduced or eliminated. To learn more about this program, check out our detailed interview with an ISR instructor.

Fortunately, the total number of drownings has been on a steady decline since 2017. This is, of course, following a rather brutal spike in 2017.

Drowning Map for 2019

In addition to the December 2019 drowning stats above, we have been provided with two more 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.

Drowning By State 2019

Understanding This Map

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 so as not to confuse as two separate numbers.  For example, a 12-year-old would be listed on the map as “12.”


Where Do These Drowning Stats Come From?

These U.S. drowning stats and graphics are brought to us courtesy of Mick and Sue 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.