General Water Safety

This page contains general water safety information—tips, techniques, and guidelines that can be applied universally when we are in, on, and around the water. Since water makes up about 70% of the surface of our planet, and since, according to the World Health Organization, about 388,000 drowning fatalities occur each year worldwide, this page should be shared with everyone.

Here is a checklist of safe places to swim.

Drowning Statistics

By the way, drowning statistics in the United States are as follows (according to the Centers of Disease Control):

  • From 2005-2009, an average of 3,533 fatalities due to nonboat-related accidental drowning occurred annually (about 10 deaths per day).
  • About 1 in every 5 individuals who drowns is a child under the age of 14. For every child who dies from drowning, another 5 receive hospital care for nonfatal submersion injuries. These nonfatal injuries can result in long-term problems, including memory loss, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning.
  • Nearly 80% of all drowning victims are male.
  • Children 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rate. In 2009, among children 1 to 4 who died of unintentional injuries, more than 30% died from drowning. In the age range from 1 to 14, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths behind motor vehicle crashes.
  • From 2005 to 2009, the fatal drowning rate of African American children from 5 to 11 years of age was 3 times higher than that of white children in the same age range.
  • For more information from the CDC, go to Staying Safe In and Around the Water.

Water Safety Tips

Some general water safety tips can be found by following the links below:

The following links focus on particular water safety guidelines and strategies:

Other water safety pages contain specific information about water safety at home, at lakes and rivers, or at the beach. Be sure to check out these pages as well.

Water Safety Skills

Assisting others