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Now that summer’s here, think safety at the pool and beach and when grilling

Swimming-fun-Girl Wearing Life Jacket g7f4717104_640With the arrival of summer, consumers are headed to the nearest swimming pools and beaches, and they’re firing up grills for picnics and barbecues.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission or CPSC is urging people to be vigilant about safety as they return to summer activities. It encourages people to prevent injuries before they happen.

Pool safely: Child drownings continue to be the leading cause of death among children ages 1 to 4 years old. From 2017 through 2019, on average, there were 389 pool- or spa-related, fatal drownings reported per year involving children younger than 15 years of age. Pool- or spa-related, hospital emergency department-treated, nonfatal drowning injuries involving children younger than 15 years of age rose 17 percent in 2021 to an estimated 6,800 injuries.

  • Safety tip: Never leave a child unattended in or near water.
  • Install proper barriers, covers, and alarms on and around your pool and spa.
  • Learn how to perform CPR on children and adults. Many communities offer online CPR training.
  • Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim.
  • Keep children away from pool drains, pipes, and other openings to avoid entrapments.
  • Ensure all pools and spas – in your backyard and at any public pool you may visit – have anti-entrapment drain covers.

Beach umbrellas: Airborne beach umbrellas can be dangerous, even deadly. From 2013 through 2018, there were two deaths associated with beach umbrellas.

  • Safety Tip: Spike your beach umbrella pole into the sand, bury it about two feet into the sand, and tilt it into the wind.
  • Anchor the base of the pole with some form of anchor or weight.
  • Ensure the sand is packed well around the base. These steps help to keep it from blowing away and injuring someone.

Grills: Gas or charcoal grills can present a risk of fire and/or carbon monoxide poisoning. From 2016 through 2018, there were an estimated average of 12 deaths per year involving gas and charcoal grills. Last year, there were an estimated 6,300 gas and charcoal grill-related injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments.

  • Safety Tip: Check cpsc.gov to see if the grill has been recalled. If recalled, stop using it until it is repaired or replaced by the manufacturer.
  • Look over the grill and any gas hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes, and leaks. Replace, if necessary.
  • Never use grills indoors. Only use grills outside, in well-ventilated areas, and never indoors, in a garage, breezeway, carport, porch, or under a surface that will burn.
  • Never leave a hot grill unattended and keep children away from the grill area.
  • Clean your grill with a ball of aluminum foil or nylon brushes, instead of wire grill brushes, to prevent stray wire brush strands from ending up in the food.

Mask up: Covid-19 is still a concern. Keep safe and follow local, state, and federal guidance on face mask wearing wherever you are this summer.

In addition, remember fireworks safety for the Fourth of July. There were nine deaths and about 11,500 emergency room-treated injuries in the United States in 2021.


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Thanks for sharing these important safety tips.


I keep sharing safety tips, especially about water and fireworks, because, despite all the consumer knowledge about them, they keep happening. Also, hot cars. Another child died in a hot car the end of June. The distraught father committed suicide. I'll write about it again.


Such important and simple tips that can save so much agony!


Yes, it's important to keep tips about drowning in mind all the time when kids are near or in water.

Laurie Stone

All good tips, Rita. I'm especially paranoid about young children and water. Can't take my eyes off them while they're swimming around.


You never know what can happen even with big kids. When my son was about 12 or 13 he and two friends were swimming in my pool. One kid, who was a pretty big guy, decided to stick his face in the filter. His eyeballs popped almost all the way out and he looked like the guy from Frankenstein. Luckily, after going to the ER, he was okay but I almost had a heart attack.


Drains in swimming pools are so dangerous. They've sucked the intestines out of kids, but new regulations have improved things. I'm glad your son's friend turned out to be O.K. after he stuck his face in the filter. I can see why you were so upset.

Carol Cassara

All good cautionary advice for the summer...or any time. Scary stuff can happen.


Yes, parents and kids need to be alert to these summer dangers. I'm writing right now about off highway vehicles and how the death and accident rates go up in May, June, July, and August. Kids under 16 are most often the victims, and July is the worst month for deaths.

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