It's a New Day in Public Health.
The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.
Contact the Violence and Injury Prevention Section
Violence and Injury Prevention Section
4052 Bald Cypress Way
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Drowning is preventable. With the many pools, waterways, lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water in Florida, surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, water safety is key in preventing drownings for visitors and residents alike. According to the CDC, Florida ranked 5th in the U.S. for unintentional drowning deaths with an age-adjusted rate of 2.2 per 100,000 population, behind Alaska (4.19), Hawaii (3.55), Montana (2.68), and Louisiana (2.52) for all ages in 2020 (CDC national injury data).
From 2018 to 2020 combined, Florida was ranked the highest in the U.S. for unintentional drowning death rate among children ages 1 to 4 years (6.24 per 100,000 population). Florida had the highest unintentional drowning death rate of 3.19 per 100,000 population among children 0 to 9 years of age compared to other states (CDC national injury data). Annually there are enough children under the age of 5 lost to drowning (50 in 2019, 60 in 2020, and 75 in 2021) to fill three or four preschool classrooms (Florida CHARTS).
In addition, Florida was ranked 3rd in the U.S. for unintentional drowning death rate (2.02 per 100,000 population) among children ages 0 to 17 years of age, behind Louisiana (2.77), and Oklahoma (2.2) in 2020. For adults 18+ years of age, Florida was ranked 4th in the U.S. for unintentional drowning death rate (2.38 per 100,000 population), behind Alaska (5.43), Hawaii (4.32), and Montana (3.53), during the same year (CDC national injury data).
For additional injury prevention data, please see the Florida Injury Surveillance Data System page.
WaterSmartFL—Water Safety is Everyone's Responsibility
The “Water Safety Is Everyone’s Responsibility” initiative works to educate parents, caregivers and communities about drowning risks and prevention strategies along with how to be safe in and around the water. The campaign identifies layers of protection to increase water safety and reduce drownings: supervision, barriers, and preparedness. More information is available at www.watersmartfl.com.
Explore WaterSmartFL to learn the steps you can take to be water safe and protect Florida's children, residents and visitors. Downloadable materials and information about state partners are also available on the website.