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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.

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Drowning Prevention

Contact the Violence and Injury Prevention Section

  •  850-245-4455

    Mailing Address

    Violence and Injury Prevention Section 

    4052 Bald Cypress Way 

    Bin A13 

    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 4th in the U.S. for unintentional drowning deaths among all ages in 2021 with an age-adjusted rate of 2.23 per 100,000 population, behind Alaska (4.54), Hawaii (3.37), and Louisiana (2.78) (CDC national injury data).

From 2019 to 2021 combined, Florida was ranked the highest in the U.S. for unintentional drowning death rate among children ages 1 to 4 years (6.64 per 100,000 population). Florida had the highest unintentional drowning death rate of 3.25 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 (60 in 2020, 75 in 2021, and 67 in 2022) to fill three or four preschool classrooms (Florida CHARTS).

In addition, in 2021 Florida was ranked 4th in the U.S. for unintentional drowning death rate (2.00 per 100,000 population) among children ages 0 to 17 years of age, behind Louisiana (2.49), Mississippi (2.27), and Arkansas (2.05). For adults 18+ years of age, Florida was ranked 5th in the U.S. for unintentional drowning death rate (2.25 per 100,000 population), behind Alaska (5.11), Hawaii (4.05), Montana (2.92), and Lousianna (2.46) 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

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.