The 2010 Pool Safely Summer Snapshot
CPSC and HSC Release Summer Figures on Child Drownings
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As children across America go back-to-school, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Home Safety Council (HSC), a Pool Safely campaign partner, are releasing a snapshot on drowning incidents for the 2010 summer swimming season.
On average, more than 200 children younger than 15 drown in pools or spas between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Media reports suggest that this year, unfortunately, has been no different. “The 2010 Pool Safely Summer Snapshot on Pool Safety in the United States” indicates that at least 172 children younger than 15 have drowned since Memorial Day weekend, according to media reports collected nationwide. In addition, there have been more than 180 non-fatal incidents involving children in pools and spas, according to media accounts. With such a high number of child drownings and non-fatal incidents, CPSC and HSC are calling for added vigilance at pools and spas this Labor Day weekend and beyond.
2010 Summer Snapshot
More than 350 Child Drownings and Non-Fatal Incidents
Since Memorial Day Weekend
Florida 14 drownings; 19 non-fatal incidents
Texas 12 drownings; 17 non-fatal incidents
“Back to school does not mean the end of the swimming season. Many children in warm weather states have fun in the water all year,” said Inez Tenenbaum, CPSC Chairman. “Far too many families have been impacted by child drownings this summer. We are calling on the public to Pool Safely this holiday weekend and keep kids safe in the water.”
“Families with above or in-ground pools and spas must be vigilant about pool supervision, especially when there are children present,” said Meri-K Appy, president of the non-profit Home Safety Council. “When a pool or spa is a part of your day-to-day life, it’s easy to take for granted that your family members are following pool safety rules. Always have an adult actively watching whenever children are in or near the water.”
In addition, Ms. Appy reminds families that the safest pools have four-sided fencing that blocks direct access from the home. Fences should have self-closing and self-latching gates.
Additional safety steps include pool alarms on doors leading from the home to the pool area, heavy-duty pool covers, as well as anti-entrapment safety drain covers. According to Tenenbaum and Appy, being prepared means taking some steps such as having rescue equipment and a cordless phone poolside in case of emergency, and being trained means knowing how to do CPR and ensuring that children know how to swim.
This summer, the Pool Safely campaign released a series of public service announcements that remind the American public how to stay safe in and around pools and spas. The Pool Safely campaign also The Pool Safely campaign also debuted a kids safety education program that includes an educational video and online activity to help parents teach children about danger spots in and around pools and spas. These campaign resources can be viewed by visiting www.PoolSafely.gov.
About Home Safety Council
The Home Safety Council (HSC) is the only national non-profit organization solely dedicated to preventing home related injuries that result in nearly 20,000 deaths and 21 million medical visits on average each year. Through national programs, partnerships and the support of volunteers, HSC educates people of all ages to be safer in and around their homes. The Home Safety Council is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For more information visit HomeSafetyCouncil.org.
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 campaign was launched in Fort Lauderdale, Florida prior to Memorial Day.
The Pool Safely campaign is proud to partner with leading organizations, including American Red Cross, The YMCA of the USA, Safe Kids USA, National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA), Home Safety Council, World Waterpark Association (WWA), Abbey’s Hope and the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP). For more information, visit the website at www.PoolSafely.gov and follow the campaign on Twitter @poolsafely.