With school out for summer, many San Diego families will be spending more
time at the pool. Whether swimming in the backyard, at a friend’s
house, or at a public pool, it is imperative for parents to take steps
to prevent drowning, which remains the leading cause of unintentional
death for children under the age of four.
To highlight the tragic prevalence of pool drowning, the
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) offers the following statistics:
- Children between the ages of 1 and 3 represent 64 percent of reported non-fatal
drowning incidents (2012-2014) and 65 percent of fatal drowning incidents
- Every year between 2010 and 2012, approximately 382 children younger than
15 fatally drowned in pools or spas, with 76 percent (290) of the victims
being younger than 5.
- Approximately 5,400 children younger than 15 were treated between 2012
and 2014 in emergency rooms for pool- or spa-related submersion injuries
every year, with 77 percent of the victims being younger than 5.
- Residential pool and spas dominated incidents involving victims younger
than 5 years old, with 87 percent of the reported fatalities occurring
at residential locations. Approximately 49 percent of the injuries and
75 percent of the fatalities involving children younger than 15 years
also occurred at a residence.
- Of the reported pool fatalities for children younger than age 15, about
55 percent (212 annual average) occurred in in-ground pools; 18 percent
of pool fatalities occurred in above-ground pools; and only 7 percent
of reported pool fatalities occurred in portable pools.
To improve pool safety, the CPSC encourages parents and children to take its
Pool Safety Pledge. Parents must commit to designate a water watcher every single time children
in their care are in or near the water, learn CPR, teach their children
to swim, and properly secure pools with fences. Meanwhile, children must
promise to never swim alone and stay away from drains in the pool or hot tub.