Canadian Drowning Statistics

Canadian drowning statistics are troubling.

What is the main reason people drown?

The number one reason for most drownings is that a child or adult ended up in water and was not able to swim to safety or stay afloat. The Center for Disease Control states “Research has shown that participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning among children aged 1 to 4 years.” Swimming lessons also have a significant impact on adult drowning statistics because the ability to swim can keep anyone from panicking after accidently falling into a water source.

How widespread is drowning?

According to the World Health Organization, Drowning is the “third leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide, accounting for 7% of all injury related deaths.” Every year more than 388,000 people die from drowning.

Canadian drowning statistics

In Canada, it is encouraging to note that the number of child deaths from drowning is stabilizing and not increasing. However, the Canadian Drowning Report, CDR, 2012 Edition states “The profile of ‘who’ is drowning in Canada is getting older.” The 50 to 64-year old population continues to show more water related deaths and if the trend continues, the Baby Boomer generation will show more deaths by drowning than any other age group.

Men top women in drowning deaths

The CDR states that eight out of 10 drowning victims are men. Men “accounted for 82% of Canada’s water-related deaths during 2005 to 2009.” Young men between 18 and 34 are the group most at risk with nine out of every 10 victims of drowning being male.

When are drownings most likely to occur?

More deaths from drowning “are occurring at night (+39%), on weekdays (+17%) and during winter/spring months (+18%) than were seen in the previous 15 years of tracking,” according to the CDR.

Disturbing statistics

The Canadian Red Cross reports that about 400 Canadians drown every year, and drowning is one of the top causes of death in children under four. More than a third of child drowning in children age 5 to 14 occurred when they were alone and unsupervised. About 40% of parents reported that they had weak or no swimming skills, and the same number reported that they had no CPR training.

Other statistics of note

Fifteen out of 100 child drownings in Canada are occurring in backyard pools. reports, “In 70 percent of child drownings in backyard pools, the pool has no fence or has a fence that does not adhere to safety bylaws.” They also add, “Sixty per cent of child drownings occur between June and August.”

Preventative measures like fencing in your pool and keeping it locked, and always knowing where your children are can help to reduce drowning deaths. However, health officials strongly advise that all Canadians learn how to swim, so they can save themselves or someone else if a tragedy should happen.