What is Drowning


Drowning is the process of experiencing respiratory impairment from submersion or immersion in liquid.

Outcomes of drowning may be: death, morbidity or no morbidity.  In other words, a person may die from drowning; be injured by a drowning episode; or escape from drowning through rescue or other means.


Drowning is a serious problem.  Globally, an estimated one million people drown every year.  The World Health Organization reports drowning is the 3rd leading caue of unintentional death in children and youth.  In some some countries in Southeast Asia and Western Pacific regions, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury among children.


In Canada, drowning is the No. 1 cause of unintentional injury deaths among children 1 – 4 years of age, and the second leading cause of preventable death for children under 10 years of age.  With approximately 500 fatalities annually, drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional death among Canadians under 60 years of age (surpassed only by motor vehicle collisions and poisoning).