The RLSS UK shares data that accidental drowning deaths amongst children have doubled since 2019-20 as its annual water safety education campaign begins.


The data[1] shows the number of child drowning deaths in England has significantly increased from 20 in 2019-20, to 41 in 2022-23. Tragically, a total of 125 children have accidentally lost their lives to drowning in the last four years.

With England reporting an alarming increase in child drowning fatalities, RLSS UK is urging everyone to learn the Water Safety Code though its video animation as part of its annual Drowning Prevention Week campaign, taking place from 15-22 June 2024.

Targeted at young children and families, the national water safety education campaign aims to ensure as many people as possible are equipped with vital lifesaving knowledge to allow them to enjoy water safely this summer.

Matt Croxall, Charity Director at RLSS UK, said: “The alarming increase in tragic child drowning deaths in England highlights just how important it is that families are aware of the importance of water safety and have the correct knowledge to make the right decisions around water.

“We are urging parents to stay vigilant in, on and around water, both at home and when spending time outdoors and to have the water safety conversation with their children.

“With warmer summer days on the horizon, we will inevitably see people flock to open water sites across the UK and Ireland, as well as taking opportunities to enjoy water at home in the garden. We want to ensure that everyone can enjoy water this summer by having the knowledge to do so safely.

“More than half of child drownings occur in June, July and August, and Drowning Prevention Week works to equip families with the appropriate skills and knowledge to enjoy water safely during the summer months and beyond.”

During the 2023 campaign, RLSS UK materials and resources were used to educate over 1.85 million children in vital water safety knowledge and skills.

Matt Croxall added: “For this year’s Drowning Prevention Week campaign, we are looking to educate even more young people on water safety, providing children with the skills to enjoy a lifetime of fun in the water.”

For Drowning Prevention Week, RLSS UK has a range of free new and updated educational resources available on its website for children, including lesson plans for schools and downloadable resources for parents, as well as an engaging video animation to support families in learning the Water Safety Code.

[1] Source: National Child Mortality Database (NCMD)