Drowning Prevention

Water Safety

According to the CDC, every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States.

Since July 5, 2016, two 2-year-olds and one 6-year-old have died from drowning in Iowa. Adults losing track of the children for several minutes appears to be a major factor in these drownings.  Drowning is the leading cause of death by unintentional injury in children between the ages of 1 and 5.

Safety Tips

Please remind parents and caregivers to provide direct supervision to all young children and non-swimmers, even when lifeguards are provided. 

Other Safety Tips to Remember When Near or in Water:

  • Use life jackets for non-swimmers to bridge momentary lapses in supervision.
  • All Iowans, children and adults alike, should use life jackets on recreational waters.
  • Learn to swim and teach your children as well. Formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning, particularly among young children.
  • Provide fences with self-closing, self-latching closures around swimming pools and spas.
  • Avoid alcohol use while swimming or supervising children.

Additional Information

For additional educational information that can be shared with patients, visit the Iowa Department of Public Health website, the CDC website or the Safe Kids website.