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High Risk Factors for Drowning

Almost every person in the United States is around water every day and, wherever there are large (or even small) bodies of water, there is usually a risk of drowning. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that about ten individuals in the United States die every day from drowning accidents. For this reason, every individual–and especially every parent–should be aware of the following primary factors that may increase the risk for drowning.


Drowning is possible in even the most seemingly safe situations, as children can drown in as little as one inch of water. Children may encounter one inch of water in many places, such as a bathtub, wading pool, toilet, or even a puddle. Perhaps this is the reason that a young age is one of the primary risk factors for drowning. The highest risk group is comprised of children aged one through four years, and drowning is the number one cause of death of children under four in the United States, as well as the number two cause of death for children under 14.

In order to keep children–especially small children–safe, parents should never leave a child near any type of water source unattended. Additionally, if there is water nearby, parents should always avoid distractions such as cell phones or tending to other children.


Males are twice as likely to die from a drowning accident than females, and males are also more frequently hospitalized for near-drowning incidents. Suspected factors for the higher risk include that males are more likely to do the following:

  • Be around water settings;
  • Swim alone;
  • Engage in boating activities or water sports; and
  • Consume alcohol prior to boating or swimming.

Frequent Access to Water

This may seem like an obvious risk factor, however it is important to be aware that anyone who has greater access to any type of water source is at a significantly higher risk of drowning. This includes people who have professions that involve water as well as children who live in homes with pools or near lakes, ponds, rivers, or beaches. Small children who live near any water source should be constantly supervised and older children should be educated of the risks of drowning.

Other Risk Factors

In addition to the three main factors above, the following can increase risk of drowning:

  • Regular alcohol use around water;
  • Epilepsy or similar medical conditions; and
  • Being around unfamiliar bodies of water.

Though some drowning accidents cannot be avoided by any preventative measures, many deaths or injuries from drowning can be prevented by knowing the risk factors, proper supervision of children, and encouraging safe behaviors in and around water.

Call an Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation Today

If you or your child has suffered injury in a drowning accident due to another person’s negligence, the Atlanta injury lawyers at the law firm of Goldstein & Hayes can assist you. We are committed to helping drowning accident victims and their families, so please do not hesitate to call us today.