Summer may officially be over as well as swimming but it never hurts to know some important stats in terms of children and swimming safety. From Memorial Day through Labor Day 2019, at least 150 children younger than age 15 fatally drowned in swimming pools or spas, according to media reports compiled by the USA Swimming Foundation, a CPSC Pool Safely campaign collaborator. The number of fatal drownings is up by around two drownings from 2018.
“I am saddened by the increase in fatal child drownings this summer, as compared to last year,” said Ann Marie Buerkle, acting chairman, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in a news release. “Drowning remains the leading cause of unintentional death for children ages one to four. Parents and caregivers must remain vigilant around pools and spas, even after they close for the season.”
States by the Numbers
Texas and Ohio led the nation this summer with fatal child drownings totaling 26 and 11. The results mark a record high for fatal drownings in Ohio, and an increase in fatal child drownings in Texas jumping from 21 in 2018 to 26 in 2019. In contrast, Florida’s child drowning fatalities significantly decreased from 21 in 2018 to 10 in 2019.
The states listed below experienced the highest number of pool and spa drownings involving children younger than 15, from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2019*:
- Texas: 26
- Ohio: 11
- Florida: 10
- California: 10
- Pennsylvania: 8
- Arizona: 7
- Georgia: 7
Pool Safely, reports it is a national public education campaign run by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and was launched in 2010, “to raise awareness about pool and spa safety, as mandated by the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. The campaign provides information on the simple steps that parents, caregivers, and pool owners should take to ensure that children and adults stay safer in and around pools and spas to reduce fatal and nonfatal drownings.”
The news release suggests all parents and caregivers to follow Pool Safely’s simple steps to keep children safer in and around the water. Here are some tips:
- Install a four-sided fence with a self-closing, self-latching gate around all pools and spas.
- Designate an adult Water Watcher to supervise children at all times around the water.
- Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim.
- Learn how to perform CPR on children and adults.
- Teach children to stay away from pool drains, pipes, and other openings to avoid entrapments.
- Ensure any pool or spa you use has drain covers that comply with federal safety standards. If you do not know, ask your pool service provider about safer drain covers.
To learn more about Pool Safely, or to take the Pool Safely Pledge, please visit: www.poolsafely.gov
Pool Safely reports it works with partners around the country to reduce child drownings, nonfatal drownings and entrapment incidents in swimming pools and spas. Parents, caregivers, and the media are encouraged to visit: PoolSafely.gov or @PoolSafely on Twitter and facebook.com/poolsafely/ for vital safety information regarding the prevention of child drownings in and around pools and spas.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually.
Sources: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission