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.)