SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — In South Dakota, opportunities to splash around in water come in the form of lakes, rivers, pools and more, but along with each of those locations comes a risk of drowning.
In the past 5 years, there have been more than 60 recorded drownings in South Dakota according to the South Dakota Department of Health, which provided data from 2018-2021, as well as provisional data from 2022 to KELOLAND News.
According to the data, from 2018 to 2022, there were a total of 62 drowning deaths in the state, with 11 in 2018, 13 in 2019, 2020 and 2021, and 12 in 2022.
Among the victims in the time-frame mentioned, the highest number fell into the category of those under 10-years-old. The second highest age group were those 50-59 followed by those in their 30s.
As for the location of the drownings, specific bodies of water were not noted, but the largest number of deaths occurred in natural waters, such as rivers and lakes. The next highest number of drownings however occurred not in swimming pools, but in bathtubs, further highlighting the fact that young children are the most likely to drown in South Dakota.
Unsurprisingly, the highest number of drowning deaths were recorded in the hot summer months between April and September. In fact, these months account for 49 of the 62 deaths recorded from 2018-2022.
Overall, 2 deaths were recorded in the months of January-March, 24 in April-June, 25 in July-September and 11 in October-December.