Water death


January 22, 2022

Water death is a type of suffocation caused by drowning. Also known as drowning.

Japanese drowning

There is a misunderstanding that water death is mainly caused by a water accident, but the place where Japanese people die most is the bath at home.

Drowning due to bathing

In Japan, where it is customary to take a full-body bath in a bathtub, there is a higher probability of drowning in a bathtub than in other countries. According to a 2014 survey by the Consumer Affairs Agency, the number of fatalities caused by accidents in the bathroom for some reason, including those other than drowning, is estimated to be about 19,000 per year. The number is 4,866, which is higher than the 2014 traffic deaths of 4,373. Of the drowning deaths, 90% are elderly people aged 65 and over. With the aging of Japanese society, the number of deaths in the bathroom has increased sharply, and from 2004 to 2014, the number of drowning deaths in the bathroom increased 1.7 times. It may be drowned due to the heat shock phenomenon. Drowning at home can occur even in healthy humans without chronic illness. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and the Consumer Affairs Agency are calling attention because it is misunderstood that it occurs only when thinking ability and athletic ability are extremely deteriorated due to fatigue, lack of sleep, taking medicines, etc. In addition, even in the case of an infant accident, it is characterized by the fact that there are many water deaths in the bathroom. This is because Japanese households have a habit of leaving hot water in the bath, and an infant who has become able to move on his own, such as standing up, falls from his head into a bathtub filled with the remaining hot water, resulting in an accident that leads to water death. It is due to that. In households with babies, it is a countermeasure against water death accidents to leave as little hot water as possible in the bathtub.


Warm the dressing room and bathroom before bathing Soak in hot water below 41 degrees in less than 10 minutes Do not suddenly get up from the bathtub Refrain from bathing after drinking alcohol or immediately after eating The Consumer Affairs Agency is calling for measures such as calling out to the cohabitants before taking a bath.

Drowning due to a water accident

Number of occurrences

According to the summary of the National Police Agency in 2002 (the following statistics are based on this material), the number of water accidents in Japan was 1,722, of which 951 died. The mortality rate is about 50%, which is overwhelmingly higher than that of traffic accidents. The breakdown of the fatalities is 557 people aged between high school and under 65, accounting for 57.0% of all water deaths. There are 284 (29.1%) elderly people aged 65 and over, followed by high school age, preschoolers, elementary school students, and junior high school students. However, the case fatality rate of water accidents aged 65 and over is the highest, with nearly 70% dying. It is believed that this is due to the lack of awareness of the decline in one's physical ability, which makes it easy to fall into a water accident, and the lack of physical strength to deal with a water accident.

Occurrence location

The most common place of occurrence is the sea, with 501 deaths, accounting for nearly 50% of all water deaths. This is followed by 282 rivers (28.9%), 106 irrigation canals (10.8%), 67 lake ponds (6.9%), and 7 pools (0.7%).

Causes and countermeasures

Most of the water death accidents occur in clothes, and it is not accustomed to swimming with clothes, the clothes become heavy with water, and the physical strength is exhausted due to resistance in the water. Is also a major factor leading to water death. If you fall into the water with your clothes on, you will not swim unnecessarily, and if there is a floating tree nearby, you will not be exhausted if you grab it and wait for help. Land for elementary school students

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