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Childhood Drowing Prevention-Drowning Statistics You Should Know

Written by: HiViz Swimwear



Time to read 5 min

HiViz Swimwear is not just a neon swimwear company. Our ethos is to further the mission of eradicating childhood drowning through water safety and drowning prevention education. We firmly believe that the first step in drowning prevention is education - you can't prevent it if you don't know.

As we continue to grow as a company we plan to also provide swim lesson scholarships and donations/sponsorships to organizations like Live Like Jake, Levi's Legacy, The Judah Brown Project, and others. 

Our dream would be to also be able to sponsor the training of instructors who plan to open schools in areas where there is a swimming lesson void. 

But this blog isn't about us. It's about cold, hard statistics. This information has been pulled directly from the CDC's drowning statistics database. We pulled the numbers. We did the calculations. Additional information referenced is from the NDPA and Stop Drowning Now and we have included those links below.

We believe that the details of the statistics themselves are absolutely essential in prevention. What do I mean by that? For example, we feel knowing that drowning is the #1 cause of death for children ages 1-4 isn't enough. We want you to know that in that age group, boys are twice as likely than girls to drown and that white boys in this age group drown at 4x the rate of black boys but that in ages 5-9, black children are 2.6x more likely to drown. Why is this important? We want people to understand that demographic disparities prevent access to swim lessons for black families, increasing drowning risk. These same disparities increase the likelihood of drowning on the other side of the economic spectrum because of access to pools and hot tubs.

If your child goes missing,


  • Contrary to what is shown in Hollywood movies DROWNING IS SILENT
  • Drowning does not discriminate, it can happen to anyone.
  • Drowning doesn't happen to 'bad parents.Drowning isn't something that happens to someone else. It's something that can happen to you.
  • A child can drown in 30 seconds or less 
  • Learning to swim can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% for children ages 1-4
  • 69% of drownings under age 5 happen at non-swim times
  • 23% of childhood drownings occur at a family gathering near water
  • For every fatal, there are an estimated 7 non-fatal drownings. Per the CDC, "Nonfatal drowning happens when a person survives a drowning incident. Nonfatal drowning has a range of outcomes, from no injuries to very serious injuries such as brain damage or permanent disability."
  • Per SDN, "Seventy-nine percent of children in households with incomes less than $50,000 have few to no swimming skills."
  • When parents lack swimming ability children are less likely to have swimming skills. SDN


  • Autistic children are 106x more likely to drown than their neurotypical peers. An astounding 91% of deaths of Autistics under 14 are due to drowning. Learn more about Autistics and drowning prevention on our blog.
  • Boys are twice as likely to drown
  • Black children ages 5-9 are 2.6x more likely to drown than white children
  • Black children ages 10-14 are 3.6x more likely to drown than white
  • Under age 5 white boys are the most likely to drown


  • > 1: Bath tubs
  • 1-4: Residential pools
  • 5-14: Natural water & pools

ISR Swim instructer SwimmingB ISR in HiViz Neon Rash Guard with student swimming on her beling in HiViz Neon rash guard and HiViz Neon Swim Legging prototype.


Drowning is the #1 cause of death for children in this age group. 

  • Boys ages 1-4 are twice as likely to drown than girls.
  • Black children account for 20% of drownings in this age group. (This is drastically different in older age groups demonstrating how economic disparities create inequitable access to swimming lessons.)
  • White children account for 80% of drownings in this age group - 4x the rate of black children.
  • Most drownings for ages 1-4 occur in pools or hot tubs owned by family, friends, or neighbors. (More affluent families have more accessibility to water an example of how demographic disparities impact drowning rates.)

A child in this age group who knows how to swim or learns to swim can reduce their risk of drowning by 88% - learn more from the NDPA.

Young girl walks on the beach in a neon rash guard sun shining on her.

Tomorrow is a day that will always be a gift.

HiViz Neon Swimwear for Kids ages 12mo-12yrs

Drowning Prevention Strategies & Tips

Physical Barriers, Alarms & Cameras

  • A 4-sided fence that isolates the pool from the house and yard. Fencing should have self-closing and latching gates that are out of the reach of children.
  • Alarms on doors that sound when opened and cameras that alert when detecting motion.

Undistracted Supervision

  • A designated person to supervise who provides constant and attentive supervision without distractions & a clear handoff of these supervision responsibilities.
  • Neon swimwear helps with supervision and retains visibility when submerged, which can help you quickly locate a distressed swimmer.

Swimming Skills

  • Children should be enrolled in swim lessons to learn how to float and swim in the event of a fall into water. When all else fails, knowing how to swim can save their life.

Being Prepared for Emergency

  • Knowing CPR and rescue skills as well as having a plan and a phone nearby can make the difference between life and death.

Proper Toy Storage

  • Do not leave toys in the pool. A child can easily fall into a pool trying to retrieve a toy.

Proper Use of Life Vests

  • Use of USGA-approved life vests when around water - NOT IN WATER IN PLACE OF SWIMMING SKILLS OR PARENT SUPERVISION.

→ Please visit the NDPA to learn about the 5 Layers of Protection.

→ Please visit Stop Drowning Now to learn more about drowning risks.

→ Please visit The CDC for drowning data and statistics.

HiViz neon rash guards are made in highly visible, bright, true neon colors—the best swimsuit color for visibility. Ensuring your child's safety by the water has never been easier. Our HiViz Neon Rash Guard, boasting a UPF 50+, is the epitome of superior sun protection and heightened visibility. The neon rash guard is available in neon yellow and offers three distinct arm color options: neon yellow rashguard sleeves, neon pink rash guard sleeves, and blue rash guard sleeves.

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  • UPF 50+ - maximum sun protective rating achievable for fabric, blocking 98% of the sun's harmful rays
  • Chlorine resistant
  • Comfortable, 4-way stretch
  • Designed in Maine, Made in the USA with imported fabric
  • Made with OEKO-TEX Standard 100 Certified Fabric
  • 82% REPREVE® recycled polyester, 18% spandex

UPF 50+82% 100% Recycled Polyester, 18% Spandex BlendChlorine ResistantComfortable 4-Way StretchMom-Owned BusinessManufactured in the USAChlorine Resistant

Founder of HiViz Neon Swimwear, Mary embracing  her daughter with one arm in the woods with sunlight peeking through the threes

The Author: Mary, Founder of HiViz Swimwear

Mary launched HiViz Swim with a passion for spreading the word about drowning risks and prevention. Her life was changed by hearing Nicole Hughes bravely share Levi's story with a ballroom full of Orthodontists & staff in Feb 2019. As a prior competitive swimmer, lifeguard, and swim instructor, Mary knew that if she didn't know these statistics, most parents would not. 

Learn About the Moms Behind HiViz

The Superior Visibility of Neon Swimwear

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