With the official start of summer just a month away (June 21st), people of all ages will be enjoying the warm weather at their pools or heading to the beach.
But sadly, 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.
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.
- 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; and
- 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 American Red Cross offers important swimming safety tips you should be aware of before you head out to the pool or beach.