As The Summer Heats Up, New Schumer Report Sounds Alarm & Shows Deadly Spike In Drowning Deaths Among Kids 

Senator’s Report Finds Little Boys Are Drowning Twice The Rate Of Girls; Hundreds Of NY Tragedies Like Last Summer’s Long Island Death Of Twin Boys, 3, Is Especially Painful & Why Spike Should Be Addressed

Schumer: CDC Must Quickly Investigate What The Causes Are & Develop Outreach Program To Parents

Amidst the most popular months for swimming, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer compiled the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data to sound the alarm and reveal that when it comes to fatal drownings and toddlers, numbers have climbed—and toddler boys remain at dramatically greater risk than girls.

“This new report takes a look at the latest data we have on drownings amongst toddlers and finds that when it comes to fatal drownings, numbers have climbed—and toddler boys are at dramatically greater risk for death,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “That is why, amidst the most popular months for swimming and the dog days of summer that find more and more kids in and around pools and other bodies of water, we must sound the alarm on this trend and demand new action from the federal government. The CDC should be commended for keeping these detailed records, but what good is the data unless we use it to save lives? So, today, I am urging the CDC to use my report to investigate the rising trend of toddler drownings and then develop a special outreach campaign to reach the parents of children who are in the age range of 0-4 years.”

According to the CDC, three children drown every day in the United States and the leading cause of death for children under five is drowning. Moreover, every year, there is an average of 3,600 near-drowning injuries among children ages one to four.

Schumer’s report zeroes in on these youngest toddler years of 0-4 and finds a general increase in overall fatalities, as well as finding that toddler boys succumbed to drowning accidents at more than double the rate of toddler girls. 

In light of his new report, Schumer is urging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to investigate the rates of toddler drownings that occur in the 0-4 year age group, especially those of young males. Schumer is also pushing the CDC to develop an outreach campaign that better reaches the parents of toddlers, and to make a special effort to reach the parents of toddler males. Schumer says, the CDC might even consider a more direct outreach effort before new parents even leave the hospital with their baby.

According to Schumer’s report and fully-verified CDC data between 2014-2016, the majority of toddler drowning deaths are among males. These young boys are drowning at more than twice the rate of females. Schumer says the ratio of male-to-female drowning must be rigorously investigated by the CDC and that if this ratio is to improve, a robust federally-led outreach plan must be put in place to better reach the parents of young toddler males.

Graph 1 7/19/18  

Since the year 2000, an average of roughly 100 New Yorkers died every year by drowning, according to the most recent statistics provided by the New York State Department of Health.

Schumer pointed to a particular painful and tragic New York death that occurred last summer on Long Island as an example of why this report and its new revelations demand action. According to media reports, two three-year-old twin boys were found in the pool of their Suffolk County home. News reports detailed that medics from the Melville Volunteer Fire Department rushed the twins to Plainview Hospital in critical condition but that they died at the hospital a short time later.

“It is tragic accidents like this, of toddler kids, that put a giant hole in your heart and should spur us to do all we can at the federal level to keep such young lives from being lost to drowning,” said Schumer.

Schumer’s letter to the CDC, based off his report, appears below and a full copy of his three-page report is available upon request.

Dear Director Redfield:

The latest CDC data finds that children ages 0 to 4 have the highest drowning rates of any age group, and that rate is growing. Drowning remains the leading cause of death for children under five and three children die from drowning every single day in the United States. Further, this data shows that boys drown at almost double the rate of the girls, indicating that gender-specific behavior and activities plays a major role in drowning accidents.

I request that the CDC investigate the main causes of drowning in this young population, as well study why boys are so much more susceptible to drowning than girls. Based on these findings, I urge the CDC to collaborate with state and local health departments to develop a community-based outreach, education and prevention campaign. These are tragic and often preventable deaths, but parents need to be educated as to how to prevent them. This is particularly critical for the parents of boy toddlers, who may be unaware that their son is at greater risk of drowning. I am confident that with a concerted effort we can reverse this trend and better equip parents and communities with the knowledge they need to prevent young children from drowning.

I look forward to working with you on this vital issue.


U.S. Senator Charles Schumer


Previous Article Next Article