Each month, we take a look back at the drowning stats from across the nation. These numbers and detailed maps, brought to you by our friends at USA Swimming, tell us about the trends and patterns related to drowning incidents.

According to these documents, some months are better than others. Unfortunately, we have some bad news for October. As it turns out, the rate of teen drownings was the highest for any October since USA Swimming first began tracking in 2009.

Let’s take a closer look.

U.S. Drowning Stats for October 2019

Most of our regular readers should be familiar with these drowning stats. At Life Saver Pool Fence, we are always interested in sharing this information. With such accurate accounts of the drowning rates, we can begin to see patterns over time. For instance, a marked increase in drownings can signify a gap in our collective knowledge; there may be a safety lesson that we’ve overlooked. With close analysis, USA Swimming’s monthly drowning stats allow us to focus our attention on particular successes and failures that are trending and work to correct them.

USA Swimming’s chart below compares this October’s numbers to previous October statistics going back to the year 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: U.S. Drowning Stats for October 2019

October Total Child 4 & Under Child 12 & Under Teen Adult
2019 – Oct 110 13 7 13 77
2018 – Oct 97 18 4 5 70
2017 – Oct 110 18 9 4 79
2016 – Oct 138 14 1 10 113
2015 – Oct 113 24 3 4 82
2014 – Oct 104 20 6 3 75
2013

– Oct

94 14 4 4 72
2012

– Oct

111 23 7 9 72
2011

– Oct

92 16 2 0 74
2010

– Oct

88 21 6 2 59
2009 – Oct 85 17 3 9 56

As these numbers show, October 2019’s drowning stats are not very promising when compared to prior years. In several categories, we’ve seen a marked increase in drownings. Like we mentioned above, the teen category has been hit the hardest. Put plainly, this is the worst those numbers have been in the history of this research.

In addition, the drowning stats for adults and children between the ages of five and twelve have jumped up. On the positive side, kids four and under seem to be doing better when compared with October 2018. It’s possible that more parents are engaging with Infant Swimming Resource lessons for their little ones. For everyone else, some swimming lessons may be in order.

Drowning Map for 2019

In addition to the October drowning stats above, USA Swimming has developed a 2019 nationwide drowning map. This map identifies “hot spots” of child drowning incidents on a state-by-state basis. Below, please take a look at the map. It has been updated to include all drownings through July 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 twelve-year-old would be listed on the map as “12.”

Where Do These Drowning Stats Come From?

Just like our earlier stats, these are brought to you courtesy to the team at USA Swimming. This group is the national governing body for competitive swimming in the United States. It is an extension of the United States Olympic Committee. In fact, USA Swimming is charged with selecting the United States Olympic Swimming team and any other swimming teams that officially represent the nation.

For any curious readers who are interested in learning more about the people behind USA Swimming, watch our full Child Safety Source interview with USA Swimming’s Facilities Development Director, Mick Nelson. Additionally, you can visit their official website.