The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) developed the swimming pool guidelines after an extensive study of swimming pool accidents in California, Arizona and Florida. The CPSC found that in those three states, drowning was the leading cause of accidental death in and around the home for children under the age of 5 years. The study also found that children age 1 to 3 years old accounted for 75% of swimming pool accidents, with boys being the most likely victims.
One of the interesting findings was that most of the swimming pool accident victims were actually being supervised by at least one parent when the accident occurred, and victims were last seen in the house or yard, or on the porch or patio before the accident. Sixty-nine percent of the victims were not expected to be in the pool when they were discovered drowned or submerged. These accidents occurred quickly – with 77% of the victims missing for only five minutes or less before being found in the pool.
After reviewing extensive data on drownings and child behavior, and pool barriers, the conclusion was reached that the most effective way to reduce child drownings in residential pools was to put barriers in place to prevent children from accessing the pools.