Pa. Ranks Sixth in Child Pool and Spa Drownings

This summer, 137 children younger than 15 drowned in a pool or spa across the country, according to the CPSC.


This summer from Memorial Day to Labor Day saw a lot of good times at pools, but it also saw bad.

One hundred thirty seven children younger than 15 drowned in a pool or spa, according to information compiled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) Pool Safely campaign.

The following 12 states suffered the largest number of pool and spa drownings for children younger than 15:

1.      Texas (17)                                     7.  Florida (6)  
2.      California (10)                               8.  Illinois (6)
3.      Ohio (9)                                         9.  North Carolina (6)
4.      Arizona (8)                                    10. Alabama (5)          
5.      Michigan (8)                                  11. Georgia (5)
6.      Pennsylvania (7)                            12. New York (5)

“These figures are a strong indication that child drownings are a serious public health problem,” CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum said in a press release.

The media figures for this summer show that 54 of these drownings occurred soon after the children left an adult who was in their immediate vicinity, and 31 children drowned despite the presence of others at the pool.

In addition, the media reports from this summer are consistent with CPSC’s annual reports in showing that young children and toddlers are especially vulnerable to drowning—at least 100 of the 137 children who drowned were younger than five. Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death among children one to four years of age.

The Pool Safety campaign provides information on the simple steps that parents, caregivers and pool owners should take to ensure that children and adults stay safe around pools and spas:

  • Stay close, be alert and watch children in and around the pool. Never leave children unattended in a pool or spa; always watch children closely around all bodies of water; teach children basic water safety tips; and keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings.
  • Learn and practice water safety skills. Every family member should know how to swim. Learn how to perform CPR on both children and adults.
  • Have appropriate equipment for your pool or spa. This includes pool fencing, a lockable safety cover for spas, proper drain covers to avoid entrapments, and lifesaving equipment such as life rings and a reaching pole.

(Information supplied by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.)

Adam September 18, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Is it really a news story that PA has the 6th highest raw number of anything? FYI - WE'RE THE 6TH MOST POPULOUS STATE! Write a story that tells me we have the 6th highest RATE of something (per capita) and then it might be news.
Erin Marie September 18, 2012 at 06:19 PM
I second that! When started at my last company they always threw around the stat that the state with the most customers was California. I told them the state with the most 'anything' would be California. Hello? It was frustrating as a statistician to work in a department with people who had honestly never though to index it by rate before but should have.
GestSayn September 20, 2012 at 04:55 PM
I agree with the tips, but would stress to add teaching babies to back float. If your baby/child can back float they are on the surface, AND they are breathing. Babies as young as 6-9 months can do this easily!
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art fulley May 19, 2013 at 02:57 PM
An important additional piece of information is the number of people in each state. The order is: 1. California, 2. Texas, 3.New York 4. Florida, 5. Illinois, 6. Pennsylvania But what about the number of pools and hot tubs in each of these states- Suddenly the number of drownings per state becomes meaningless, and certainly the order is statistically insignificant!


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