Drowning is the leading cause of death for children aged 1-4 in the United States. For infants under the age of one, two-thirds of those drowning deaths occur in bathtubs. In addition to small children, bathtubs can also be dangerous places for those with certain medical conditions and older individuals. A simple slip and fall in a bathtub can turn into a fatal accident. 

Below is an informative graphic with quick stats and risk factors to emphasize the importance of keeping you and your loved ones safe while bathing.  

Bathtub Drowning Statistics and Risk Factors

Here’s a breakdown of the bathtub drowning STATISTICS:

3,960 people drown every year in the United States.

This is according to the CDC and includes drownings in bathtubs, pools, lakes, oceans, and other bodies of water. 

In the United States, there’s an average of 11 drowning deaths each day.

This is also according to the CDC and includes all bodies of water.

Children can drown in as little as 1 inch of water.

As bathtubs are typically filled more than this while bathing children, this fact can be eye-opening and scary to a lot of parents. 

87% of children under age 5 drown each year. 80% of those drownings occur in a bathtub.

This is according to the CPSC and underscores the importance of diligence and supervision in bathtubs. 

Non-fatal drowning injuries include brain damage and long-term disability.

The consequences of near-drowning experiences in the tub can be devastating. Even if the individual survives a near-drowning experience, they can live with the impacts of it for the rest of their lives including brain damage and long-term disabilities. 

Here’s a breakdown of the bathtub drowning RISK FACTORS:


Being a child is a huge risk factor for bathtub drowning. Two-thirds of all infant drownings under the age of 1 occur in bathtubs. 


Individuals of advanced age are at a higher risk in bathtubs. This is because they are more prone to slips and falls in a standard tub, which can lead to injury, loss of consciousness, and drowning. This is an example of when a walk-in tub would help tremendously. Walk-in tubs provide a safe solution for older people and also allows them to have independence and dignity while bathing. 

Certain medical conditions

There are certain medical conditions that also make someone more at-risk in a bathtub, such as seizure disorders, heart conditions, and autism.

Not enough supervision

Keeping a close eye on vulnerable people in the bathtub is essential to avoiding accidents. 

Alcohol and drug use

Drugs and alcohol can dull sense and increase risk of drowning in tubs. The use of drugs and alcohol before getting in to a bathtub is a huge risk factor for bathtub drowning. 

Prescription medication

Side effects from medication can decrease awareness and motor skills. This can also increase the risk for individuals with certain medical conditions and the elderly and these two groups are often on prescription medication. 

Bathtub drowning is a very real and scary thing. It’s important to know the risk factors and take the necessary steps to reduce the risks of drowning in a bathtub for you and your loved ones.