Children Ages 1 – 4 have Highest Drowning Rates: Are You Prepared?

waterDo you and your kids know how to swim? Did you know that children ages 1-4 years have the highest drowning rates? Do you know what to do if your child is drowning?

Veronica Stewart, a Girl Scout of 10 years and an advocate for water safety and drowning prevention, knows more about drowning prevention than most adults! Veronica is working on her Gold Award project and her focus is educating people about drowning prevention. She has spent hundreds of hours collecting data, researching, and gathering information to support her project.

The Girl Scout Gold Award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. Open only to girls in high school, this prestigious award challenges girls to change the world—or at least a small corner of it.

The Problem

Veronica has identified water safety as a major issue – and while kids are out of school and enjoying plenty of water fun right now, it’s also a time to learn more about water safety.

According to Veronica’s resources:

  • Seventy percent of African-American and sixty percent of Hispanic/Latino children cannot swim. (Source: National research study by the USA Swimming Foundation and the University of Memphis)
  • African-American children drown at a rate nearly three times higher than their Caucasian peers. (Source: CDC)
  • If a parent does not know how to swim, there is only a 13 percent chance that a child in that household will learn how to swim. (Source: National research study by the USA Swimming Foundation and the University of Memphis)
  • Drowning is a leading cause of death among children, including infants and toddlers (

Who is Most at Risk?

  • Males: Nearly 80% of people who die from drowning are male.
  • Children: Children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates.
  • In 2007, among children 1 to 4 years old who died from an unintentional injury, almost 30% died from drowning.
  • Fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14 years. (When a child is rescued before death, the episode is called a nonfatal drowning)

Visit Veronica and Help Spread the Word

Veronica has developed a Facebook page of water safety websites and statistics devoted to drowning prevention to educate children and their parents. You’ll find lots of resources about AED, CPR, swimming lessons, safety gear, and more. It’s a wealth of valuable information!

You can also learn more about her project to educate everyone on water safety in the Henrico Monthly.

Veronica has set up collection bins for swimsuits and swim gear such as goggles, swimsuits, towels, nose plugs, and swim caps at:

Please visit Veronica’s Facebook page and help her spread the word on water safety. Congratulations to her for taking this important step to educate the public as a part of her Girl Scout Gold Award project! thinks Veronica ROCKS!