WASHINGTON – From Memorial Day through Labor Day 2017, at least 163 children younger than age 15 fatally drowned in swimming pools or spas, according to media reports compiled by the USA Swimming Foundation, a Pool Safely campaign partner. Of the 163 reports, 112 of the victims — nearly 70 percent — were children younger than age five.
During the same timeframe in 2016, 205 children younger than age 15 drowned in swimming pools or spas, according to media reports. Of the 205 reports, 140 of the victims — nearly 70 percent — were children younger than age five.
“Each one of these deaths is a tragedy, which serves as a sobering reminder of how dangerous water can be for young children,” said Ann Marie Buerkle, Acting Chairman, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. “Even though summer is over and children are back in school, pools are still open in warm weather states and indoor swim parks. I encourage all families to Pool Safely and follow the simple steps that save lives whenever they’re enjoying time in or near the water.”
The following states suffered the highest number of pool and spa drownings involving children younger than 15 from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2017:
- Florida: 25
- California: 14
- Texas: 14
- Arizona: 10
- Georgia: 7
- Ohio: 7
- Virginia: 7
- Indiana: 6
- Louisiana: 6
The Pool Safely campaign, a national public education campaign run by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 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 in an effort to reduce fatal and nonfatal drownings. All parents and caregivers are reminded to follow Pool Safely’s simple steps to keep children safer in and around the water.
- 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.
The Pool Safely campaign was launched in 2010 by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to raise awareness about pool and spa safety, as mandated by the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.
Visit PoolSafely.gov/Pledge to take the Pledge to help prevent drownings.
About Pool Safely
The Pool Safely campaign (www.PoolSafely.gov) is a national public education effort launched in 2010 by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to reduce fatal child drownings, non-fatal drownings, and entrapments in swimming pools and spas. The campaign focuses on populations most at risk of drowning: children younger than 5 years old (who represent nearly 75 percent of child drowning fatalities) and African-American and Hispanic children between the ages of 5 and 14, who, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drown at higher rates than white children. CPSC reports that annually there are more than 300 pool or spa-related drownings for children younger than 15.
Pool Safely, a national public education campaign supporting the requirements of Section 1407 of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, works with partners around the country to reduce child drownings, non-fatal drownings and entrapment incidents in swimming pools and spas. Parents, caregivers, and the media are encouraged to visit: PoolSafely.gov or @PoolSafely on Twitter for vital safety information regarding the prevention of child drownings in and around pools and spas.