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Summer 2017: 163 children drown in pools and spas

Summer2017_PoolSafelyDrowningsMap-01 (1)From Memorial Day through Labor Day 2017, at least 163 children younger than age 15 drowned in swimming pools or spas, according to media reports compiled by the USA Swimming Foundation. Of the 163 reports, 112 of the victims – nearly 70 percent – were children younger than age five.

During the summer of 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 chair of the 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 had 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 commission, provides information on the 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 drownings. All parents and caregivers are reminded to follow Pool Safelys 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 don’t know, ask your pool service provider about safer drain covers.

The Pool Safely campaign was launched in 2010 by the commission to raise awareness about pool and spa safety.

Copyright 2017, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist

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