90 Child Drownings Nationwide Since Memorial Day

New information from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) shows that 90 children younger than 15 were reported to have drowned in swimming pools since Memorial Day.

An additional 106 children of that age required emergency response for near-drowning incidents, according to media reports, providing a sobering reminder of how a fun day at the pool can quickly turn tragic.

The figures show that young children and toddlers are especially vulnerable to drowning. Seventy-two percent of the children reported to have drowned since Memorial Day were younger than five years old.

Pool Safely Day

In light of this information, CSPC’s Pool Safely: Simple Steps Save Lives campaign is encouraging water parks, municipal swimming pools and other indoor and outdoor aquatic facilities to celebrate Pool Safely Day, an annual event promoting water safety that encourages all Americans to pool safely every day.

Participants from all around the U.S. will be participating in Pool Safely Day activities this week (July 22-29).  More than 70 facilities in 30 states have registered events with CPSC during the week.  Events will range from free swimming lessons, to CPR training, to distributing Pool Safely information materials to parents and caregivers.

"Making sure their children learn how to swim is one of the most important steps parents can take," said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. "Swimming is a fun activity to help keep cool in the summer and it also can be a lifesaver."

Texas leads the way

Texas had the highest number of drownings (13) in this time period with California, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania each reporting five drownings. 

CPSC's latest submersion report shows on average 390 pool or spa-related drownings occur each year for children younger than 15, based on statistics from 2007-2009. About 5,200 pool or spa-related emergency department-treated submersion injuries occur on average each year for children younger than 15.

"This information tells a heartbreaking story," said Tenenbaum. "Behind each one of these incidents are grieving family members and communities. These are preventable tragedies, so we must continue to share the simple safety steps that parents and caregivers should take both before and during time spent in or near the water. That's what we mean when we say America needs to learn how to pool safely."


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