This summer, nearly 140 children drowned in pools and spas, according to a new report by federal consumer safety regulators.
Between Memorial Day and Labor Day there were 137 reported deaths where children under the age of 15 drowned in a pool or spa. Most were under the age of five, according to a recent report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
In 54 of the deaths, the drowning happened when the child was not near an adult and 31 children died while in the pool with others. Another 168 children had near-fatal pool or spa incidents that required emergency response services.
“These figures are a strong indication that child drownings are a serious public health problem,” CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum said in a press release issued last week. “We are losing too many children to drowning, tragically cutting short these young lives and leaving families devastated.”
An average of 390 children under the age of 15 drown in pools and spas each year, according to the CPSC. Another 5,200 pool or spa injuries that require emergency medical services occur each year as well.
State-by-state, Texas had the most child drownings this summer with 17 deaths. California was a distant second worth 10, followed by Ohio with nine deaths, and Arizona and Michigan with 8.
The CPSC has provided a number of tips to help prevent child pool and spa drownings and injuries, including:
- Parents should stay close to children, be alert and watchful and never leave a child unattended around a pool, spa or body of water.
- Teach children basic water safety tips, including to stay away from pool drains, pipes and other openings.
- Make sure every family member knows how to swim and learn how to perform CPR on both children and adults.
- Keep your pool or spa appropriately equipped with proper fencing, a lockable safety cover for spas, proper drain covers to prevent entrapments and safety equipment like life rings and a reaching pole.