FARGO—As Minnesotans approach the heart of the summer months, especially before the Fourth of July, more get to enjoy the cool rivers and lakes around the North Star state.
With the the increased amount of people attending the different bodies of water around the state, drowning deaths usually goes up, but what does the data say?
When looking at the summer months of May, June, July and August from 2007-2018, most of the non-boating drowning deaths occur in July, according to data compiled by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Hennepin County has had the largest number of drowning deaths in the summers from 2007-2018 with 46.
Despite Otter Tail County having 1,048 lakes, the most of any county in Minnesota, it has only had four deaths over the course of 11 years during the summer months.
Individuals age 18-25 have had the largest amount of drownings in this time period closely followed by ages 0-5 and 61 and older.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has released swimming and water safety tips page for this summer in hopes drowning numbers can decrease.
Tips include recognizing what drowning looks like, warnings against swimming while drinking and how to prevent drowning.
How to prevent drowning:
- Know what the signs of drowning are.
- Never let your child/children swim unattended without responsible adult supervision.
- If multiple children have multiple adult supervision.
- Never take your eyes off of children swimming. Drowning can occur in less than 10 seconds.
- Always keep an accurate number of children swimming
- Have water rescue safety gear in close proximity i.e. life ring with rope, Shepard's hook, personal floatation devices, throw bags, etc.
- Be able to swim competently yourself to be able to rescue a drowning person.
- Learn CPR and stay current on training.
- Teach your child to swim. Enroll children early in certified swim classes.
More information can be found at DNR boating safety