Citing statistics which show that 90 kids 15 years of age and younger (with 72% younger than 5) perished as the result of drowning in a swimming pool from Memorial Day until now, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is attempting to spread the word about the importance of pool safety.
Starting Sunday and lasting over the course of a week, organizations from across the country are taking part in activities for Pool Safely Day. 70-plus facilities, from water parks to swimming pools to various other outdoor and indoor swimming facilities across 30 states, have pledged their support by registering for a host of activities.
Activities will include CPR training, free swimming lessons, and the distribution of educational materials that aim to provide parents and guardians with critical insight into the easy steps that can be taken to prevent disaster. The first thing that adults can do around the pool area is just to remain alert. Children should always be supervised, even if they’re just hanging around the edge of a body of water.
Sometimes, though, being alert isn’t enough. Families should stress to their children the importance of pool safety, emphasizing tips that could be the difference between life and death. Along with that, both parents and their children should learn the skills necessary to have a fun, safe time out on the water. CPR and swimming lessons can go a long way. And if your residence has a pool, the necessary equipment, such as drain covers, fences, and life rings, should always be on-hand.
The statistics offered by the CPSC can be eye-opening. In addition to the aforementioned fatalities, 106 children had to be treated for near-drowning incidents in the timeframe described. 13 drowning deaths took place in Texas, enough to give them the dubious distinction of being the leader in child drowning fatalities among the states. California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and North Carolina followed, with each of those states reporting 5 drowning deaths. An average of 5,200 submersion injuries occur on a yearly basis.
Pool Safely began in 2010 as the result of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Safety Act, which called for new standards to be set in regards to spa and pool safety. As of late, the initiative has turned its focus to African American and Hispanic demographics, as research from USA Swimming shows that 70% and 62% of children in those categories, respectively, cannot swim. Children younger than five are also getting particular attention placed upon them.
If you’re heading out to the pool this summer, learn more about pool safety and Pool Safely before you head out.