Izard County
Sheriff's Office
Melbourne, Arkansas
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300 Circle Drive
Melbourne, AR 72556

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Swimming is a favorite pastime to many during the hot summer months. It’s cooling and refreshing but it is also dangerous if necessary precautions are not taken.  Sheriff Tate Lawrence said that recent research indicates that about 11 people die every day from unintentional drowning.  That’s the yearly daily average, so if one considers that that most swimming is during the summer months, the average daily death for just the summer period is much greater.

Only one death of the 11 daily drowning is boat related leaving the 10 to occur as the result of swimming.  Additionally, 50% of the nonfatal downing mishaps require hospitalization.  This compares to only 5% requiring hospitalization for all other unintentional injuries.  For children age one to four years, most of these drownings occur in the home swimming pools. Swimming is responsible for more deaths in the one to four year olds than any other cause except birth defects.

Among the leading causes of drowning is the inability to swim. Children should be taught to swim by a competent swimmer and teacher.  Lack of barriers around a swimming pool is a leading cause of pool deaths which would indicate the extreme importance of fencing around the pool.  Lack of supervision and swimming alone is another significant cause of swimming deaths. Alcohol is a major contributor to drowning deaths with more than 70% of swimming deaths attributed to alcohol use.  Swimmers and swimming supervisors should avoid alcohol us.  Bath tub swimming deaths are caused primarily by seizure disorders.

Sheriff Lawrence strongly suggests that everyone take the necessary precautions which greatly reduce the likelihood of death by drowning. Have a great summer.


News Release, For Immediate Release, July 5, 2013, POC: Sheriff Tate Lawrence, 870 368 4203