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Florida has one of the highest drowning rates in the United States due to its numerous water bodies, including the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, rivers, and lakes. According to the Florida Department of Health, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths among children aged 1-4 in the state, and it is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths among children aged 5-14.
In 2021, there more than 400 unintentional drowning deaths in Florida, according to data from the Florida Department of Health and 98 were children. Of that total group, 63% were males, and the majority of deaths occurred in open water, such as lakes, rivers, and the ocean. The age group most at risk for drowning in Florida was children under 5 years old, who accounted for nearly one-third of all drowning deaths.
These are alarming statistics when considering that the US Swimming Foundation put out information stating that around 220 children die each year from unintentional drowning. This makes Florida feel on the high-end compared to the rest of the country.
Another source for drowning deaths is in swimming pools. Although it is a smaller portion than open water drownings, it’s still a relatively large number of people who drown. The challenge is knowing if the drowning was a complete accident or not. Many times, family members seek the counsel of a drowning accident lawyer when these challenging situations occur.
There are several ways to help minimize and prevent drowning accidents in Florida. The first is to teach swimming lessons to all children, even those as young as two years old. Many classes exist to help small children learn to float and “doggy-paddle” which could make all the difference in a tough situation. Another great method is to always have lifejackets on when out in open water. Many people feel they don’t need a lifejacket if they’re on a large boat. Accidents can happen at any moment when you’re in nature so it’s best to always be prepared. All children should have lifejackets on the moment they step onto a boat.
Use these tips along with consistent adult supervision to minimize and hopefully prevent future drowning accidents here in the great state of Florida. The goal should be to hit 0 drowning accident related deaths each and every year to preserve the lives of our people and children.