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Drowning Prevention

Drowning Prevention Infographic poster

Drowning Infographic

Drowning is Silent Infographic Poster
English | Spanish
Chinese | Farsi
Korean | Tagalog | Vietnamese

In California, drowning is a leading cause of injury-related deaths among children under the age of five. Each year, near-drowning incidents result in life-long disabilities. The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and the Drowning Prevention Foundation continue to raise awareness on this issue, and remind parents and caregivers that drowning is preventable. Follow us @CaliforniaDDS.

Governor's letter on drowning prevention

With the approach of summer weather and the swimming season, Governor Newsom issued his support of Drowning Prevention. Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related deaths among children ages five and under. The Governor urges all Californians to enjoy activities but remain vigilant around babies and toddlers, and swimmers of all ages.

Child Injuries Are Preventable

Videos from PoolSafely and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC):

Drowning Prevention Information & Links


The source of data on these graphs has been extracted from the Client Development and Evaluation Report (CDER), at the Department of Developmental Services.

Victims of near drowning accidents often experience disabilities for the remainder of their lives. These include central nervous system damage contributing to varying levels of brain damage, resulting in loss of memory, seizures, learning disabilities, paralysis, and sometimes coma. The surviving victims may also experience a lifetime of multiple medical problems including respiratory, cardiovascular, and neuromuscular disorders.


All Race and Ethnicity for Age 0 through 5 years

Year Pool Drowning Pool and other Drowning Total
2017 23 51
2016 31 45
2015 31 47
2014 33 52
2013 39 60
2012 27 44
2011 30 58
2010 40 54
Average 31 51

Source: CDPH Vital Statistic Death Statistical Master Files (2010-2014) and CDPH California Comprehensive Death Files (2015-2016)
Prepared by: CDPH, Safe and Active Communities Branch

Current Laws

Require existing and new public swimming pools to be equipped with anti-entrapment devices and systems in order to prevent physical entrapment of swimmers.

California Health & Safety:

California Department of Public Health:

Department of Child Care Licensing

Department of Boating and Waterways:

Drowning Prevention Foundation Publications

  • Safety Guidelines
    Steps to avoid drowning accidents include close and constant supervision of children at all times near water and provision of multiple layers of protection, including pool fencing, gates, automatic sliding door closers, pool alarms and automatic safety covers.
  • Water Safety Tips
  • Protect your Child Against Bathtub Drownings English | Spanish

For assistance with locating drowning prevention resources, contact:
The Drowning Prevention Foundation

Last Updated: 7/8/2019