Child Drownings Spike, Officials Issue Water Safety Warning
New data tabulated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Pool Safely campaign based on media reports compiled by the USA Swimming Foundation shows that there have been at least 33 media reported fatal drownings nationwide this year for children under age 15 in a swimming pool or spa.
In April 2019, there were 22 fatal child pool/spa drownings. This is more than a 90% increase from March, when there were 2 fatal child pool/spa drownings. Fatal drownings are up 23% compared to April 2018, when there were 17 drownings.
27% of media reported fatal child pool/spa drownings in April and 33% of media reported fatal child pool/spa drownings so far in 2019 drownings took place in a motel pool.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Pool Safely campaign is urging parents and caregivers to be vigilant any time they’re in or near the water and to follow the Pool Safely simple safety steps to prevent more drownings as families prepare for the summer swim season:
- Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa and always watch your children closely around all bodies of water.
- Designate a Water Watcher to supervise children in the pool or spa. This person should not be reading, using a smart phone or be otherwise distracted.
- Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim.
- Learn how to perform CPR on children and adults.
- 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 safe drain covers and ask your public pool if their drains are “VGB compliant.”
- Take the Pool Safely Pledge before spending time in or near the water.
Families can visit poolsafely.gov for additional water safety tips to prepare for a summer that is safer and more fun.