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U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission report shows 137 Child Drownings in Pools and Spas during Summer 2012
Initial summer drowning figures are only part of the annual toll
Washington, D.C. – According to information compiled from media reports and released by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) Pool Safely campaign, 137 children younger than 15 years drowned in a pool or spa during the traditional summer season of Memorial Day to Labor Day this year.
An additional 168 children of that age required emergency response for near-fatal incidents in pools or spas during that period.“These figures are a strong indication that child drownings are a serious public health problem,” CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum said. “We are losing too many children to drowning, tragically cutting short these young lives and leaving families devastated. While summer is ending, our vigilance in ensuring that all children pool safely must not end. With so many indoor community pools, hotel pools and spas, indoor waterparks, as well as outdoor pools that remain open in warm-weather states, we must continue our efforts to remind everyone to pool safely whenever they are near the water.”
The media figures for this summer show that 54 of these drownings occurred soon after the children left an adult who was in their immediate vicinity, and 31 children drowned despite the presence of others at the pool.
In addition, the media reports from this summer are consistent with CPSC’s annual reports in showing that young children and toddlers are especially vulnerable to drowning – at least 100 of the 137 children who drowned were younger than five. Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death among children one to four years of age.
Not every child drowning is reported on or tracked by the media. In turn, it takes time for CPSC to compile data of all child drownings from around the country.
CPSC’s Pool Safely campaign message reinforces the important safety steps: stay close to children in the water, be alert, and watch children in and around the pool at all times.
During the summer of 2012, the following twelve states suffered the largest number of pool and spa drownings for children younger than 15:
The Pool Safely campaign provides information on the simple steps that parents, caregivers and pool owners should take to ensure that children and adults stay safe around pools and spas:
The Pool Safely campaign was launched in 2010 to raise awareness about pool and spa safety, as mandated by the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.
Data from USA Swimming indicates that 70 percent of African American children and 62 percent of Hispanic children cannot swim, making them especially vulnerable to drowning.
About Pool Safely
The Pool Safely campaign is CPSC’s national public education and information program to reduce child drownings, near-drowning and entrapment incidents in swimming pools and spas. The campaign resulted from the requirements of Section 1407 of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (P&SS Act), federal legislation signed into law in 2007, which mandated new requirements for pool and spa safety.
Parents, caregivers and the media are encouraged to visit PoolSafely.gov or @PoolSafely on Twitter for vital safety information regarding the prevention of child submersions in and around pools and spas.
About the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals – contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, go online to: SaferProducts.gov, call CPSC’s Hotline at 800.638.2772 or teletypewriter at 301.595.7054 for the hearing and speech impaired. Consumers can obtain this news release and product safety information at www.cpsc.gov. To join a free e-mail subscription list, please go to www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx.
TopicsCenters for Disease Control and Prevention, Child Drowning, Children, CPSC, Drowning, Labor day, Media, Memorial Day, Pool Safely, pools, Spas, Summer, The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, washington d.c., Waterparks
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