The Silent Crisis of Drowning Deaths Across the United States

Nearly 4,000 men, women, and children die in drowning accidents annually in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Approximately 8,000 additional people are treated every year for injuries sustained in nonfatal drowning accidents. Drowning is the second leading cause of defects for children in the U.S.A., second only to birth defects. On average, three children die drowning deaths in the country every day.

Racial Disparity and Drowning Deaths

The CDC released a report in June 2021 that demonstrated that a longstanding racial disparity in drowning deaths persist to this very day. According to the comprehensive CDC report, Black Americans are 1.5 times more likely to die from drowning than their white counterparts.

The report underscores that this disparity is a legacy of Jim Crow laws that barred Black people from public beaches and public swimming pools. It also prevented Black people from learning how to swim. This has carried over in the form of Black people having less access to swimming lessons and first aid training even at this juncture in time.

Failure to Proactively Prevent Drowning Accidents

An important reality is that nearly all drowning deaths and nonfatal drowning accidents could have been avoided. The number of fatal drowning deaths in the United States has become called something of a silent crisis by experts in the realm of water safety. These professionals maintain that not near enough is being done in the country to prevent drowning accidents and deaths in the first instance.

200 national, regional, and local organizations from across the country referred to the status quo as a “silent crisis.” These organizations include the U.S. Red Cross as well as the national YMCA. They’ve come together to write to Congress. In their communication, these groups contend that the fatality rate can be reduced markedly through an increase in federal funding coupled with leadership on the national level.

Most Americans are Unable to Swim Adequately

The Red Cross release startling information about the ability of U.S. citizens to swim. Over 50 percent of people in the United States lack a necessary swimming proficiency to protect themselves in water. Moreover, an alarming number of these inadequately trained people nonetheless engage in aquatic activities, including “swimming.” The stark reality is if this huge swath of the American people were properly trained, the rate of fatal drowning accidents would be reduced sharply.

Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Programs Funding Dramatically Underfunded

The primary public responsibility for appropriate water safety programming rests in the local and state level across the country. Generally speaking, local and state water safety and drowning prevention programs are woefully underfunded. There has been some action in the U.S. House of Representatives this summer to allocate more money to better fund water safety and drowning prevention programs across the country.

There are some states that have been more proactive in the realm of water safety and drowning prevention. Six states in the country have what are being described as “robust” water safety and drowning prevention programs. This is due significantly to the state funding of these programs. The states that are leading the pack when it comes to proactive water safety and drowning prevention programs are:

  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Nebraska
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Washington (state)

If you’ve been injured in a nonfatal drowning accident, or if you’ve lost a family member in a fatal drowning accident, the experienced, caring legal team at The Doan Law Firm is here for you. Attorney Jimmy Doan, the firm’s founder, is a nationally recognized authority on drowning accidents and other types of aquatic incidents. He oftentimes is called upon to consult with other drowning accident lawyers in cases involving serious and even fatal water-related injury accidents.

You can connect with The Doan Law Firm any time by calling (800) 349-0000. Our drowning accident attorney hotline is staffed around the clock each and every day of the year. There is no charge for an initial consultation with a Doan Law Firm drowning accident lawyer.

Our firm makes an attorney fee pledge to you. We guarantee that we will never charge an attorney fee unless we win your case for you. We are committed to fighting tirelessly for justice for you.