25 July: World Drowning Prevention Day

OV Digital Desk

World Drowning Prevention Day is observed each year on 25 July. It is aimed at raising awareness about death because of drowning. It serves as an opportunity to highlight the tragic and profound impact of drowning on families and communities and offer life-saving solutions to prevent it.

The new UN General Assembly resolution invited WHO to coordinate actions on drowning prevention within the UN system. In this capacity, WHO leads preparations for World Drowning Prevention Day by hosting a global launch event, producing related advocacy materials and supporting national and local activities in countries and communities around the world.

For social media WHO recommends that the hashtag #DrowningPrevention be used, including for World #DrowningPrevention Day.

World Drowning Prevention Day 2023: Theme

In accordance with the World Health Organization’s decision, the designated theme for observing World Drowning Prevention Day 2023 is “Do one thing to prevent drowning”. Through this theme, a heartfelt invitation is extended to both individuals and communities, urging them to unite and take concrete steps toward the advancement of drowning prevention. Let us come together and make a resounding impact in safeguarding lives from the perils of drowning.

Drowning statistics worldwide

Here are quick facts about Drowning as a danger

  • In the U.S. drowning takes an average of 3,500-4,000 lives per year.  More children ages 1–4 die from drowning than any other cause of death except birth defects. Also, for children ages 1–14, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death after motor vehicle crashes.
  • Around the globe, an estimated 236,000 people drown every year, and drowning is among the ten leading causes of death for children and youth aged 1-24 years.
  • More than 90% of drowning deaths occur in rivers, lakes, wells and domestic water storage vessels in low- and middle-income countries, with children and adolescents in rural areas disproportionately affected.
  • Nearly 80% of people who die from drowning are male. Many factors might contribute to higher rates of drowning among males, including increased exposure to water, risk-taking behaviors, and alcohol use.

Drowning prevention awareness

Drowning is the process of experiencing respiratory impairment from submersion or immersion in liquid. Not all drownings are fatal. Here are a few steps:

  • installing barriers controlling access to water
  • providing safe places away from water such as crèches for pre-school children with capable childcare
  • teaching swimming, water safety and safe rescue skills
  • training bystanders in safe rescue and resuscitation
  • setting and enforcing safe boating, shipping and ferry regulations
  • improving flood risk management

World Drowning Prevention Day: History

Last year the UN General Assembly adopted a Resolution on Global Drowning prevention in which 25 July was designated to be the -yearly- World Drowning Prevention Day (WDPD) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) was invited to coordinate actions and facilitate the observance of this day.

Read Also: Children’s Day in India and its Significance