Columbus Public Health: Near drownings are on the rise

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COLUMBUS (WCMH)– Columbus Public Health department has seen an increase “near drownings,” according to its social media account.

According to the department’s website, drowning was the leading cause of unintential death for children one to four years of age. Last year, 14 children younger than 15 years of age died in Ohio because of drowning.


  • On average, 363 children younger than 15 fatally drown annually.
  • Seventy-four percent of deaths from drowning or water related injury involved children younger than 5 years old.
  • Drowning remains in the top 5 causes of unintentional injury related death from birth to 54 years old.
  • While recent national data from the USA Swimming Foundation show a 5-10 percent increase in swimming abilities among young people, children in minority communities continue to have disproportionately no/low swimming ability.
  • Research shows that 64 percent of African American children and 45 percent of Hispanic children have no/low swimming ability, and are 5.5x more likely to drown in a pool than white children of the same age.
  • Male children younger than 15 had twice as many fatal drownings as female children of the same age.
  • Drowning is silent, and can happen in 20-60 seconds.

The department lists what you need to know about prevention here: Behavior, Learn, Equipment.

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