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CPSC Release New Drowning and Entrapment Stats


118 Pool and Spa Incidents Reported Since the Start of 2011

U.S. Consumer Product Safety CommissionChula Vista, CA – Already this year, there have been 55 drowning and 63 near-drowning incidents in 29 states and territories reported by the media in the first five months of 2011. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) today kicks off the summer swimming season and the second year of its Pool Safely: Simple Steps Save Lives campaign. The Pool Safely campaign is a national public education effort to reduce child drownings and nonfatal submersion and entrapment incidents in swimming pools and spas.

At a press conference at the Parkway Family Aquatic Center, CPSC Chairman Inez M. Tenenbaum, along with U.S. Olympic swimmer Janet Evans and Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox, urged parents and children to be vigilant in and around pools and spas. Chairman Tenenbaum also released CPSC’s annual drowning, near-drowning, and entrapment reports.

CPSC’s new statistics show:

  • An annual average of 383 pool and spa-related drownings for children younger than 15 occurred from 2006 to 2008; about 76 percent of the reported fatalities involved children younger than five.
  • An estimated average of 5,100 pool or spa emergency department-treated submersions for children younger than 15 occurred each year from 2008 to 2010; children younger than five represented 79 percent of these-injuries.
  • Children between the ages of one and three (12 to 47 months) represented 66 percent of these fatalities and 64 percent of the injuries.
  • About 72 percent of the fatalities from 2006 through 2008, and 55 percent of the estimated injuries from 2008 through 2010 that involved children younger than 15 occurred in a residential pool or spa; children under five made up the majority of incidents at residential locations, with 84 percent of fatalities and 61 percent of injuries, respectively.
  • Tragically, based on reported statistics, 96% of victims involved in a submersion incident will die. Fatalities usually occur the day of the drowning event (72%). For the victims who survive the event, most will succumb to their injuries within a week (24%). Only 4% of near drowning victims will survive beyond a week, and many will have severe injuries and require intensive medical care.
  • There were no reported entrapment fatalities for 2010. CPSC received three reports of entrapment injury incidents during 2010.


For the complete reports see: Pool and Spa Submersions 2011 (pdf) and Circulation/Suction Entrapments 2011 (pdf). The years for reported injury and fatality statistics differ due to a lag in fatality reporting.

“CPSC’s new data show that the number of drownings and near-drownings involving children younger than five are still a serious public health issue,” said Chairman Tenenbaum. “CPSC is committed to reducing the number of drowning and near-drowning incidents in swimming pools and spas in the country. The Pool Safely campaign and its partners encourage parents and children to take as many water safety steps as possible to help save a life.”

“As a parent, I know how important it is that I take every precaution to ensure the safety of my children in and around the water,” said Janet Evans, five-time Olympic medalist in swimming. “Whether it’s providing swimming lessons, installing a pool alarm, or just keeping a close eye on them while they’re in the water-all of these steps will help prevent an incident. Pool Safely has a simple, but important, message: adopt as many safety measures as you can in and around the water to protect your loved ones.”

The Pool Safely campaign is a key part of the CPSC’s efforts to carry out 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, mandating new requirements for pool and spa safety. It includes a requirement for a national public education campaign designed to raise public awareness, support industry compliance, and improve safety at pools and spas.

“The City of Chula Vista embraces the Pool Safely campaign. We are honored to host the CPSC in kicking-off the summer campaign this year,” said Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox. “In southern California, we can swim almost year-round, so we understand how important it is to be vigilant about pool and spa safety. The CPSC’s Pool Safely campaign is an effective public education campaign that encourages parents and children to be safe in and around the water every day.”

About The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

CPSC is an independent federal regulatory agency created by Congress in 1972 “to protect the public against unreasonable risks of injuries and deaths associated with consumer products.” The Pool Safely campaign is CPSC’s national information and education program associated with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (P&SS Act). The Pool Safely campaign is designed to raise public awareness about drowning and entrapment prevention, support industry compliance with safety standards, and improve safety at pools and spas. The Pool Safely campaign is proud to partner with leading organizations, including Abbey’s Hope, American Red Cross, Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP), Infant Swimming Resource, National Aquatic Safety Company (NASCO), National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA), National Swimming Pool Foundation, Safe Kids USA, United States Swim School Association, USA Swimming Foundation, World Waterpark Association (WWA), and The YMCA of the USA. For more information, visit the website at and follow the campaign on Twitter @poolsafely




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