With kids across America heading back-to-school, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Home Safety Council (HSC), a Pool Safely campaign partner, are releasing a snapshot on drowning incidents for the 2010 summer swimming season. On average, more than 200 children younger than 15 drown in pools or spas between Memorial Day and Labor Day. This year, unfortunately, appears to have been no different.
The 2010 Pool Safely Summer Snapshot on Pool Safety in the United States indicates that at least 172 children younger than 15 have drowned since Memorial Day weekend, according to news reports collected nationwide. In addition, there have been more than 180 non-fatal incidents involving children in pools and spas, according to media accounts.
2010 Summer Snapshot
The more than 350 child drownings and non-fatal incidents since Memorial Day Weekend include:
California 27 drownings; 15 non-fatal incidents;
Florida 14 drownings; 19 non-fatal incidents;
Arizona 9 drownings; 21 non-fatal incidents,
Texas 12 drownings; 17 non-fatal incidents; and
Ohio 10 drownings; 11 non-fatal incidents.
“Back to school does not mean the end of the swimming season. Many children in warm weather states have fun in the water all year,” said Inez Tenenbaum, CPSC Chairman. “Far too many families have been impacted by child drownings this summer.”
“Families with above or in-ground pools and spas must be vigilant about pool supervision, especially when there are children present,” said Meri-K Appy, president of the non-profit Home Safety Council. “When a pool or spa is a part of your day-to-day life, it’s easy to take for granted that your family members are following pool safety rules. Always have an adult actively watching whenever children are in or near the water.”
In addition, Appy reminds families that the safest pools have four-sided fencing that blocks direct access from the home. Fences should have self-closing and self-latching gates.
Additional safety steps include pool alarms on doors leading from the home to the pool area, heavy-duty pool covers, as well as anti-entrapment safety drain covers.
According to Tenenbaum and Appy, being prepared means taking some steps such as having rescue equipment and a cordless phone poolside in case of emergency, and being trained means knowing how to do CPR and ensuring that children know how to swim.
This summer, the Pool Safely campaign released a series of public service announcements that remind the American public how to stay safe in and around pools and spas. The campaign also debuted a kids safety education program that includes an educational video and online activity to help parents teach children about danger spots in and around pools and spas.
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