TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — More than 2,000 people drowned in swimming pools from 2018 to 2020, and a new Quote Wizard study said the biggest number happened in Florida. From 2018 to 2020, 413 Floridians died, drowning in the pool.
While the number was already high for Floridians, 156 of those deaths were children under the age of 5. In comparison, by age, only 24 children aged 5 to 14 died by drowning in the same time period. The national total for deaths younger than 5 was 707, according to Quote Wizard.
That means in Florida, child drownings in the state made up 22% of all under 5 fatalities. For overall numbers, Florida pool drownings made up 18.7% of the fatalities from 2018 to 2020.
The study said that the top three states for most pool drownings were Florida, California, and Texas. Those three states are also three of the most populous states in the U.S. According to Quote Wizard, warm weather states in the south and southwest U.S. have the highest numbers of drownings and the highest drowning rates. Still, Florida, California, and Texas have all had “more than 225 pool drownings” each in the past three years, according to the study.
When it comes to states with the highest rates of pool drownings, Florida is still in the top three, along with Arizona and Louisiana instead of California and Texas.
However, states with fewer people reportedly have higher rates of pool fatalities, according to the study.
Nationally, “40% of pool-related drownings involve a child under the age of five. However, in Kentucky, Oklahoma and Arkansas, that number is closer to 60%,” Quote Wizard said. “Most pool-related drownings happen in the summer, with 65% of all pool drownings happening in June, July and August.”
Quote Wizard gave some safety tips for homeowners and swimmers to keep in mind as a way to stop drowning or pool-related injuries in the summer. Those tips are:
- Designate one person to watch each child. If everyone is watching everyone, no one is watching anyone
- Install water barriers around pools and spas (hot tubs)
- If a child is missing, check the water first
- Have a list of the rules and safety instructions and enforce them at all times with all guests
- Know basic water rescue skills like first aid and CPR
- Floaties do not prevent drownings
- Keep the pool visible at all times. Make sure you can see the bottom and remove toys from the pool when not being used