Earlier this month, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released some tragic and startling statistics. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day of this summer, 137 children under the age of 15 drowned in swimming pool accidents. In addition, nearly 170 children in that age group required the efforts of emergency responders for injuries sustained in near-fatal accidents.
The chairperson of the CPSC recently elaborated on these statistics in a release to the public. She noted that “These figures are a strong indication that child drownings are a serious public health problem. We are losing too many children to drowning, tragically cutting short these young lives and leaving families devastated.”
She continued by saying that, “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 water parks, 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.”
What exactly does it mean to “pool safely?” Primarily, it means keeping an eye on kids while they are in the water. Thirty-one of the deceased children drowned in the presence of others, while an additional 54 died not long after leaving an adult who remained in their immediate area. It is not enough to simply be present while children are in the water. Adults must also pay strict attention to them.
It is important for adults to understand this critical fact. Please check back later this week as we discuss the CPSC’s vision for water safety in the coming year, which will include critical adult education on the issue.