2010 drownings

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U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Office of Information and Public Affairs Washington, DC 20207

September 4, 2010
Release #10-332
CPSC Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

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.




“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

2005-2007 Average Annual Fatalities Reported to CPSC Associated with Pool or Spa Submersions
Children Less than Fifteen Years of Age by Month of Injury and Age Category

Month 0-4 years 5-9 years 10-14 years Row Total (0-14 years)
April 22 3 1 26
May 32 7 4 43
June 53 17 8 77
July 61 12 7 79
August 42 12 5 59
September 22 2 2 27
Total (includes all 12 months) 299 58 28 385