Drowning has caused over 2.5 million deaths in the last decade. The overwhelming majority of these deaths (90%) happen in low- and middle-income countries. Globally, the highest drowning rates occur among children aged 1–4 years, followed by children aged 5–9 years.
The human, social and economic toll of these losses is intolerably high, and entirely preventable.
In 2023, the 76th World Health Assembly adopted its first ever resolution on drowning prevention. The resolution accepts the invitation of the United Nations General Assembly for WHO to coordinate actions within the UN system on drowning prevention and facilitate the observance of World Drowning Prevention Day on 25 July each year.
To mark this year’s World Drowning Prevention Day, WHO will continue to focus on raising awareness on drowning as a public health issue, reminding people that anyone can drown, but no one should.
We are also raising awareness on the six evidence-based, low-cost drowning prevention interventions that countries and organizations can use to drastically reduce the risk of drowning. These include: