Drowning remains the number one cause of unintentional death among children ages 1-4, and deaths are still rising among children ages 1-15.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) national public education campaign to reduce childhood drownings, Pool Safely, aims to remind parents that kids can’t swim like fish.
The Pool Safely campaign urges families to follow these safety tips to help protect children while in and around the water:
- Never leave a child unattended in or near water, and always designate an adult water watcher. This person should not be reading, texting, using a smartphone or be otherwise distracted. In addition to pools and spas, this warning includes bathtubs, buckets, decorative ponds and fountains.
- If you own a pool or spa, install layers of protection, including a four-sided fence with a self-closing, self-latching gate.
- 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 any pool and spa you use has drain covers that comply with federal safety standards, and if you do not know, ask your pool service provider about safer drain covers.
- Visit poolsafely.gov and go to the kid’s corner to keep children entertained and educated with virtual water safety games and activities.
According to CPSC’s latest data, there were, on average, 379 pool- or spa-related fatal drownings per year for 2015 through 2017, involving children younger than 15 years old. Annual fatal drowning rates increased gradually between those years with a spike of 395 reported fatalities involving children younger than 15 years. Residential locations, such as a child’s home, a family or friend’s house or neighbor’s residence, made up 71 percent of the reported fatal drowning incidents.