WASHINGTON – A report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) indicates that child drowning deaths are increasing in the United States. The report states that drowning is the primary cause of unintentional death for American children ages 1 to 4.
A news release from CPSC regarding its report states that child drowning is a “public health crisis” in the country, and adults need to be vigilant about combatting these tragedies. On average from 2016 through 2018, 6,600 incidents of nonfatal drownings in pools and spas were reported each year involving children under the age of 15.
From 2014 through 2016, an average of 363 fatal drownings occurred in pools or spas each year involving children under the age of 15. Fatal drownings rose in 2016, when 389 fatalities involving children under age 15 were reported. The majority of these drownings — 74 percent — involved children under the age of 5.
Typically, each year, June is the month with the most reported drownings. Seventy-two percent of the reports are at people’s homes or housing complexes. The Acting Chairman of CPSC said the report’s findings highlight the need for families to teach children about water safety and monitor children at all times when at pools or spas.
CPSC recommends that parents and caregivers follow certain steps to keep children safe during summer swimming:
- Designate one person who should be watching children at all times. This person should not be distracted by anything else, including a phone or book.
- Make sure you and your children know how to swim.
- Learn the steps for CPR on children.
- Make sure the pools you attend have drain covers that adhere to federal regulations. You can ask the pool servicer if you’re not sure.
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