By Tamas Mondovics
A recent report released by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) provided some good news in connection with pool safety and child drowning throughout the country.
Fatal child drownings in pools are down by 11 percent nationwide since 2010, which gives testimony to the diligent efforts of organizations near and far that promote pool safety through annual campaigns. The agency launched its Pool Safely public education campaign six years ago.
In a recent online press release, CPSC’s latest data shows that out of the 355 reported fatal child drownings in pools and spas in 2013, 283 involved children younger than 5-years-old, which is a reported decrease from 397 and 302, respectively, in 2010.
It is noteworthy, however, that while the decrease is a welcomed change, according to the agency, drowning is still the leading cause of unintentional death among children ages 1 to 4; second leading cause of death in children ages 5 to 14 years old.
Fatal and non-fatal child drownings in pools and spas continue to pose a public health and safety challenge across the United States. For that reason, CPSC Chairman Elliot F. Kaye recently urged families to be vigilant when children are in and around the water this summer.
“Children drowning continues to be a public health crisis,” Kaye said adding that his heart breaks when he reads death reports about toddlers who slip out the back door and into an unprotected pool or when young kids who do not have basic swim skills end up participating in a pool party.
“As the father of two young boys, I know how challenging it is to always keep an eye on your kids; but constant supervision, along with four-sided fencing, knowing how to perform CPR and teaching children how to swim, are the keys to stopping child drownings,” he said. “I believe that we can continue to reduce the number of drownings, because drowning is 100 percent preventable.”
More information and a complete report can also be found at www.PoolSafely.gov.